I’ve previously covered my recent trip to Paris with Mrs P. But there are a few more photos to share. The photos with a Mexican connection. In Mexico there’s plenty of evidence of a French Connection – the Battle of Puebla, the installation of Maximillian and the aftermath of the French intervention. Which, incidentally, began with British involvement. But we caught wind of the true intentions of the French, and withdrew. We weren’t the sort of country that just strolls in and takes over sovereign nations for the sole purpose of plunder. I think….
In Paris, there’s less evidence of a Franco-Mexican bond. A corner dedicated to the Virgin de Guadalupe in Notre Dame wasn’t a great surprise. They are both Catholic comrades to the core. My moment of historical interest turned up elsewhere, during a walk through the Montparnasse Cemetery. I hadn’t been looking for it, and hadn’t consciously been aware it was there. But stumble across it I did.
The grand mausoleum of Porfirio Diaz, one the most contentious presidents in Mexican history. I’ve always found him a beguiling and fascinating figure. Modern Mexico has plenty to thank him for. Like many dictators, he left a fairly grand architectural legacy for us to enjoy. We also get a day off work each year to remember/celebrate the Mexican Revolution that his presidency caused. Whilst he doesn’t quite fit all the necessary criteria for an Enlightened Monarch, his ‘reign’ does make for comparison to some of the European kings and queens who ruled in that vein. For both good and bad.
The interior of the mausoleum looks as though it had recently been tended too. Not with too much vigour, mind. No dusting or window washing. But the petals look quite fresh. They could be plastic, of course. But even so, they still don’t look like they’ve been in there too long. Perhaps the Mexican Embassy houses a fan of the Porfiriana, who stops by the ensure the chief is remembered.