Minister, writer, analyst of political life, François Léotard has left us.

A great servant of the Republic, François Léotard became involved in politics at a very young age in memory of his father André, councillor at the Court of Auditors and mayor of Fréjus. An admirer of Jean Moulin, a revolted teenager, he entered the ENA with the conviction that French political life must be modernised and finds in Valéry Giscard d'Estaing an echo of his convictions. Already mayor of Fréjus in 1977, then deputy, he also pursued in Paris a career in the high civil service while engaging forcefully in the political life of the country.

Minister of Culture and Communication in 1986, he defended during his mandate the protection of heritage in the territories, encouraged patronage, promoted arts education and carried out the 1986 law on freedom of communication, which has been regularly adapted to the changing landscape and customs, and which still remains today the basis of our law on audiovisual and electronic communication.

A statesman, the brother of the late Philippe Léotard, whom he described as a rough diamond, was always a man of culture. Literary since childhood, admirer of Kafka, he devotes the second part of his life to writing. From political essays to breathtaking novels, he took his reader to unknown lands for nearly twenty years and worked to lift the veil of appearances by words.

In his last book, Small praise to survive in fog weather, illustrated by Milan Kundera, François Léotard took with irony the opposite of the clichés of everyday life – as if to guide us towards the less gloomy future that his political commitment called for.

I extend my deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.