A number of Parisians demonstrated at the Paris Metro station called Place de l'Etoile on Monday night (1 December) to oppose a proposal to re-name the famous site Place de Gaulle.
A number of Parisians demonstrated at the Paris Metro station called Place de l'Etoile on Monday night (1 December) to oppose a proposal to re-name the famous site Place de Gaulle. While there, the demonstrators handed out petitions which they urged people to sign and support their opposition to the proposed change.
The Place de l'Etoile is most famous for the Arc de Triomphe which stands at its centre. At the base of the well-known structure is the tomb of France's unknown soldier. The area is called l'Etoile -- which means star -- because streets radiate away from the centre.
The demonstrators, from the "Committee of Defence for the Place l'Etoile" gathered at the Metro station at the height of the evening rush-hour to catch the home-bound commuters as they made their way from the centre of the city.
The Committee opposes changing the name of the location because of its historical and national significance and because of its role as a national shrine for the country's unknown soldier.
The petition called upon people to support the committee's aims and quoted the late President de Gaulle as saying in 1952 that he wanted no distinctions or special notice upon his heath. Any such special notice, the quote continued, would be in violation of the General's last wishes.