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Joséphine Baker tribute ceremony

On the occasion of the induction into the Pantheon of the Franco-American artist Josephine Baker (1906-1975), scheduled to take place in Paris on 30 November, H.S.H. Prince Albert II paid a solemn tribute to her at the end of the morning on Monday 29 November at Monaco’s cemetery overlooking the Mediterranean where she is buried.

The Sovereign Prince, surrounded by the most senior Monegasque figures, Mr Jeannot Bouillon-Baker and friends of the deceased, gave a speech in front of the Monument aux Morts in which he recalled the strong links between Josephine Baker and the Principality of Monaco as well as the friendly relationship that existed between the artist and Princess Grace. This moving speech was followed by a minute's silence, after which the American, French and Monegasque anthems were played by the Prince's Carabinieri Orchestra.

The Prince and all the guests then proceeded to Josephine Baker's grave. After the blessing of Father Cézar Penzo - who had himself presided over the burial of Josephine Baker on 2 October 1975 in Monaco - H.S.H. the Prince, H.E. Mr Laurent Stefanini, Ambassador of France to Monaco, and Mrs Kristen Grauer, Consul General of the United States in Monaco, laid a wreath of flowers on the grave.

H.S.H. the Prince was invited to symbolically remove a small amount of earth which he placed in a wooden box, which was then given to H.E. Mr Laurent Stefanini. According to the Baker family's wishes, the singer's remains will remain in the Principality of Monaco. But this Monegasque soil, mixed with that of the city of Saint-Louis - the state of Missouri from which Joséphine Baker originated - with that of Paris - where she made her career - as well as with that of Les Milandes - where she raised her “rainbow tribe", was to be inducted into the Pantheon. The ceremony at the Monaco cemetery ended with a moment of reflection.

 

Joséphine Baker tribute ceremony