Madam President of the Centre des Monuments Nationaux, dear IsabelleLEMESLE,Mr. Director of the Archives, dear Hervé LEMOINE, Mr. President of the Henri IV Society, dear Jacques PEROT Mr. Delegate for National Celebrations,Dear Grégory CHAMPEAU Dear all who have collaborated on this little computer gem,Ladies and Gentlemen,Dear friends,

You don’t know me now, you people; but I will die one of these
days, and when you have lost me, you will know what I was worth, and the
difference that there is from me to other men».
Among the legends surrounding the figure of Henry IV, and in particular his
assassination, this kind of prediction reported by Bassompiere is, due to
of its prophetic character, particularly mysterious. The Christian reference
And, on the other hand, the circumstances of this
14 May 1610 were indeed, as historians know, propitious to
with the proximity of a war with Spain, which explains in
part of the event. But a part of mystery remains in front of this form of
foreknowledge of a near disappearance… A mystery that remains inseparable, among
so many other traits, from the legend of the «good king» who was also a great king, a
immense sovereign.
To launch the first act of this national day of tribute to the Good King Henry,
the Hotel de Sully was a no-brainer, since SULLY, the author of the
famous maxim of ploughing and grazing the two udders of the
France», was, as everyone knows, Henri’s faithful and effective minister, and his
companion until the day of the assassination. Thanks to Isabelle LEMESLE
and its teams for their hospitality and diligence. I note
the network head of our national monuments is in full swing
restoration and I welcome it. Behind us, the apartments of the Duchess in
full refurbishment (apartments, because for the duchess it is probably a little
late … ) Arms out and I’m sure the “green-gallant” would have been tempted
also, to push this door...
In short, a historical and mythical figure, but still a founding figure of our
Henri IV is above all a symbol of particular intensity,
that it was essential, in my opinion, to commemorate with dignity. For the good king
symbolizes values that are still ours:
A symbol of peace and tolerance;
A symbol of urban but also rural renewal and prosperity;
A symbol of the rise of the arts, between the Renaissance and the new aesthetics
baroque. We will hear later the musicians of the Music Centre
Baroque Versailles offer us a sample of this forgotten music, by train
to be rediscovered, especially thanks to this wonderful website.
Act I of this commemoration “a hundred different acts” throughout the year,
it is, for us, the presentation of this site. There is of course, and it is legitimate, a
religious celebration this morning in Saint-Denis – Henri is well worth a mass…
which we wholeheartedly and in thought. But the ministry of
Culture and Communication wanted to insist today on the modernity of this
immense sovereign.

And that is why we have chosen to launch a website that will
contribute to our multimedia collection dedicated to Celebrations
that my department is responsible for. This great tool will
a considerable sum of
knowledge, documents, rare music, important texts
or unpublished paintings that compose an iconography of beauty
I would of course like to thank each of the individuals and institutions
– the former Research and Technology Commission, the
National celebrations and the Henri IV Society – which contributed to the
Realization of this site particularly neat, both scholarly and affordable,
which popularizes in the noble sense of the term, that is to say which makes available
all audiences, regardless of their starting horizons. In this, he
participate fully in this “culture for everyone” that I made my own
ideal at the head of the ministry. This site demonstrates with brilliance that the culture
screen does not screen to culture, and that new media
can be a tremendous lever of our collective and shared memory.
Today therefore somehow, navigation and celebration are both
cultural udders for everyone…!
Its cultural and educational vocation, in an interactive and even
part of the cultural and artistic education program that
we set up with the Ministry of National Education. I there
adds, I would say, a civic vocation. Because it helps to weave more
our social bond, giving us back an essential part of
our memory and our common identity, made of history, legends
and mobilizing symbols.
I invite you to consult this exemplary achievement that puts the tool
for culture for everyone, and I give you
in the gardens (or rather the Orangerie perhaps, given the weather) for a
musical moment and a “chicken at the pot” snack before you
may meet tonight on the Pont-Neuf. Jean-Charles de
CASTELBAJAC has revisited the equestrian statue of Henry IV and it us
prepare many surprises and many emotions, which are also,
like this website, a beautiful way to give life to our
Thank you.