A bronze statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh has been installed and unveiled at Allard Square, Saint Tropez, France on Saturday. The bust was presented to the people of France by the Punjab government.The statue was unveiled in a military ceremony. The event underlined the close historical links between Punjab and France. Sikhs de France, an organisation which represents the Sikhs in France, presented the project to Jean-Pierre Tuveri, Mayor of Saint Tropez.
Statue of Jean-Francois Allard
City-based Harjinder Singh Kukreja, said he attended the unveiling ceremony as a representative of Punjab. “The statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh installed at Allard Square of Saint Tropez is a representation of Franco-India relations. It will give visibility to the Sikhs in Europe, particularly in France. The aim is to promote and preserve the historical links that India and France share,” said Kukreja.
Statue of Bannou Pan Dei, wife of Jean-Francois Allard
*The bust has been sculpted by the Prabhat Murti Kala Kendra, Gwalior
*It is 2 feet 8.68 inches tall and weighs 110 kg
*The bust was unveiled at a military ceremony in the presence of French as well as Indian dignitaries
*The statue is a representation of Franco-India relations
*It will give visibility to the Sikhs in Europe, particularly in France.
*The aim of installing the statue is to promote and preserve the historical links that India and France share
Historical connect between India and France
The Sikh emperor Maharaja Ranjit Singh had appointed French warrior General Jean Franquis Allard (from Saint Tropez) to modernise his army and check expansion of the British rule. Harjinder Singh Kukreja said the Mayor of Saint Tropez, Jean-Pierre Tuveri, under the initiative of his deputy in-charge of tourism Henri Prévost-Allard (descendant of General Allard), had keenly looked at the project presented by Sikhs de France president Ranjit Singh Goraya to the Mayor.
The Mayor believed that it was a befitting tribute to the Maharaja, who was served by General Allard.
“He was the first French officer along with General Ventura (an Italian), who arrived in Lahore in 1822, were enlisted to the services of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and trained the Sikh army to meet the European standards. They completely modernised the Sikh army,” said Kukreja. Punjab and Saint Tropez shared deep connections. This was evident from the fact that General Allard was born at Saint Tropez and buried in Lahore.
Photos courtesy of Sikhs de France facebook page