02 May 2012

JOAN OF ARC AT 600

The Huffington Post reminds us of the 600th birthday of Saint Joan of Arc, the famously burned "heretic" savior of France. Her birthday will be marked by two weeks of celebration in the city she liberated, Orleans.

Please click on the link above for the whole piece. Here's an interesting bit from the end of the article:

Questions about her exact identity have left subsequent eras room to fill in the gaps and allowed diverse groups to claim her as inspiration. French far right leader Marine Le Pen staged her anti-immigrant National Front's annual May 1 rally Tuesday in front of a huge Joan of Arc banner.
Bouzy predicts Joan's identity may shift yet again: "Since the '80s she has been an extreme right political figure, but after the Luc Besson film, she's back in the realm of culture, softer." 
There indeed seems to be renewed interest in the "softer" cultural face of Joan of Arc. She is currently the subject of a play by the well-known Japanese drama company Theatre No, which will run in Orleans from Saturday.
"Everyone wants to appropriate her, and have their piece," said Orleans deputy mayor, Jean-Pierre Gabelle, "but this festival will put her back where she belongs."

Well, happy 600th birthday, Saint Joan.
Make sure you blow out the candles this time. (wink)

Photo: Joan of Arc statue inside Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France.