The statue of Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc)

The composite statue (the character was carved by Dijon-based sculptor Mathurin Moreau (1822-1912), the horse by Pierre Le Nordez, and the plinth by Perreau, an architect) cannot be viewed as a masterpiece of that time. It I however worth seeing for the message it conveys, all the more so as the local context is already filled by two prominent “heroes”, namely vercingétorix on the one hand, and Reine (our young gallic martyr) one the other hand. The proud figure of Vercingétorix is supposed to extol the necessary national and republican unity in front of foreigners (it was erected before the 1870 war with Prussia). As for Reine, a humble character supported by the Roman Catholics, she symbolizes spiritual values as opposed to Evil. It was set up in 1892 and religious ardour. That could hardly be accepted by the staunchest supporters of the Roman Catholic Church.

Welcome then to the statue of Joan of Arc, which relieved Reine of a burden that she had never asked to carry.

Indeed, Joan of Arc could claim to represent both the Army and the Church united in the same battle, as she was a perfect synthesis of religious ideal and patriotic commitment, of mystical crusades in the name of Christian faith and warcraft.