Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Last surviving French guillotine on display

Guillotine on display
One of the last guillotines to exist in mainland France went on display yesterday in a new exhibition entitled ‘Crime et châtiment’ at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. The model was designed by Léon Alphonse Berger in 1872. The curator of the exhibition is former justice minister, Robert Badinter, who successfully abolished the death penalty in the first year of Mitterrand’s presidency in 1981. The last person to be guillotined in France was Hamida Djandoubi at Baumettes prison in Marseille in 1977. The guillotine is displayed alongside over 450 works of art, including sculptures by Rodin and paintings by Degas and Munch, in this exhibition which explores attitudes to crime, rehabilitation and punishment from the French revolution onwards.

British plans to assassinate Mussolini
Documents recently released by the National Archives in Kew reveal British plans to assassinate Mussolini in July 1943. In a memorandum dated July 13th, 1943, Foreign Secretary Sir Anthony Eden wrote to Churchill asking him to approve Air Marshal Arthur Harris’ plans to use the Dambusters squadron to bomb the dictator’s headquarters in central Rome.
Nick Pisa reports in The Scotsman. Nick Squires reports in The Telegraph.

The coin that celebrated Caesar’s assassination
A coin struck by Brutus in celebration of the assassination of Julius Caesar on March 15th 44BC went on display at the British Museum on Monday to mark the 2,054th anniversary of his death.
Maev Kennedy reports in The Guardian.

Results of the Saville Enquiry
Lord Saville’s enquiry into the events of January 30th, 1972, when 14 people were killed in Londonderry's Bogside, began 12 years ago. With a total cost of almost £200 million, it has been the longest and most expensive enquiry in British legal history. Lord Saville’s report is due to be handed over to Shaun Woodward, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, next week and is expected to be made public shortly after.
David McKittrick reports in The Independent.

Kasubi royal tombs in Uganda destroyed by fire
Both Reuters and the BBC report on the fire which started yesterday evening at the Kasubi Tombs in Uganda, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which dates back to the 19th century. The site is a burial for the kings of the Baganda tribe, Uganda’s largest tribe. The tribe influenced President Yoweri Museveni’s coming to power 24 years ago; however, relations between the kingdom and the central government have recently become increasingly strained. There are rumours that the fire may have been caused by arson.

1 comment:

P. M. Doolan said...

There is a cafe in the latin Quarter called La Guillotine which has a guillotine on display in the cafe.

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