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    Versailles Festival 2016

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Return of the equestrian statue

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SPONSORSHIP BY THE FRANÇAISE DES JEUX

After two years of restoration, the equestrian statue of Louis XIV returned to the Château de Versailles on 27 April 2009 thanks to the sponsorship of the Française des Jeux (public company organising the Lottery, etc.). Formerly installed near the restored royal gates, this statue has returned to its place on the Place d’Armes where it now seen by the millions of visitors who discover Versailles each year.

When Louis-Philippe converted the former royal residence into a museum dedicated “To all the glories of France”, he commissioned an equestrian statue of Louis XIV which he decided to place between the royal courtyard and forecourt. This old position corresponded to that of the central gateway of the royal railings, demolished in 1794.

The statue, installed in 1836, consists of two independent bronze sculptures. The horse, sculpted by Pierre Cartellier and cast in 1829, formed part of an unfinished commission initiated in 1816 par Louis XVIII for the restoration of the equestrian statue of Louis XV, on the place de la Concorde in Paris. The horseman was executed by Louis-Messidor Petitot in 1836. The two sculptures were cast in bronze by the same ironmaster, Charles Crozatier.
This impressive work required great technical prowess. Standing at over four metres from the ground on a hard limestone pedestal, with four granite milestones marking the angles, the statue measures about 5.5 metres in height.

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