Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile: UC presents an exhibition of 70 outstanding French people who contributed to the history and identity of Chile

For more than 300 years, numerous French figures have contributed to the development of Chile and the construction of the modern state, in fields as diverse as ideas, science, education, the arts and law. To highlight this great feat is precisely the objective of the “Gallery of the Illustrious – Three centuries of French presence in Chile”, title of the book and of the exhibition that the Catholic University will exhibit to the general public at the Campus Oriente Extension Center from from October 4 at 4:00 p.m.

“The university sees in this exhibition one more opportunity to value UC’s relationship with French culture, relevant in the history of our country and also of our university, based on the contributions of various pioneers in different scientific fields , technicians and artists who have nurtured this relationship throughout our territory, at different times “, says the Vice-Rector for Research, Pedro Bouchon, who also highlights that the exhibition also allows” to survey and celebrate the most recent artistic and scientific exchanges between Chile and France, and communicate them widely in attractive formats for all audiences. “

“The university sees in this exhibition one more opportunity to value UC’s relationship with French culture, relevant in the history of our country and also of our university, based on the contributions of various pioneers in different scientific fields , technical and artistic “- Vice-rector for Research, Pedro Bouchon

In this sense, Vice Chancellor Bouchon adds that he hopes that “the exhibition and his book will be a source of knowledge and resources of interest to all audiences, allowing current generations to approach the role in the construction of our country of ancestors from all corners of the world and, in particular, in this case, from France “.

The Battle of Chacabuco, by French artist Théodore Gericault, ca. 1819, Lithograph on paper, 54 x 61.5 cm. National Historical Museum Collection, Buenos Aires.
On the same Monday, October 4, this book will also be presented that bears the same name of the exhibition and that was prepared by the editor and producer Marc Turrel and the doctor in history Patrick Puigmal . Its pages present the stories of 70 men and women from France, most of them wise men and benefactors, characters linked to science and progress who distinguished themselves in scientific, cultural, diplomatic and military relations with Chile.

Among them we find physicists, botanists, naturalists, geologists, cartographers, archaeologists or glaciologists, doctors and photographers, engineers and businessmen, but also adventurers or soldiers of the French Revolution and Napoleon’s First Empire.

This is how the book begins with the professors and inventors, Antoine Berney and Antoine Gramusset, who nine years before the French Revolution, in 1780, wrote a political manifesto at the Hacienda Polpaico near Santiago, which sought to establish a republic in Chile. to end Spanish rule and also slavery.

For the first time in Chile, documents rescued from the Archive of the Indies in Seville will also be presented, recounting the tragic end of Berney and Gramusset, imprisoned and exiled to Spain. But it is truly the influence of the Napoleonics in Chile that marked the beginning of that republican presence with the arrival of 200 soldiers from the army of the great French emperor, who participated in the battles for the independence of Chile and in the dissemination of new knowledge afterwards. from 1828.

They were then followed by characters such as the botanist Claudio Gay , who made an extensive record of the natural resources that the South American country had, Carlos Lozier , the first lay rector of the National Institute. Lorenzo Sazié contributed in the medical field, becoming the first person to use forceps and chloroform in Chile.

Artists, illustrious women, priests and more

Adrienne Bolland was the first woman to fly over the Andes mountain range. Image taken from the book “Gallery of the illustrious – Three centuries of French presence in Chile”.
In the field of painting and the arts, characters such as Raimundo Augusto Monvoisin and Narciso Desmadryl stood out , but it is the arrival of the daguerreotype and photography with the odyssey of the L’Oriental ship in Valparaiso that shaped a new imaginary in Chile.

Several French women are part of the gallery of illustrious people, such as the liberal educator Françoise Delauneux, creator of a school in Santiago in 1828, Adriana Bance, who in 1940 became the first woman to ascend Aconcagua, or Adrienne Bolland, who became in the first woman to fly over the Andes Mountains in 1921.

In the defense of human rights the priests Pierre Dubois and André Jarlan stood out, the latter died as a result of a bullet that went through the wall of the rectory where Jarlan was, during a demonstration in the town of La Victoria in 1984.

“The book is the culmination of 35 years of my interest in the lives of my compatriots in Chile,” says Marc Turrel, who was able to meet four of the illustrious men in person while working as a journalist and editor: Father Pierre Dubois, the founder de la Parva, André Bossonney, Emile Allais, ski director in Portillo and three times world champion and Louis Lliboutry, founder of modern mountain glaciology.

“The book is the culmination of 35 years of my interest in the lives of my compatriots in Chile” -Marc Turrel, editor and producer

Turrel explains that many of these characters had disappeared from the collective memory. “With Patrick Puigmal we were able to bring to light the extraordinary adventure of the Napoleons in Chile, who contributed to forming the identity of Chile in many areas during and after Independence,” he says.

Important dates
The exhibition coincides with the bicentennial of the death of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte , who died on May 5, 1821 on Saint Helena Island. In the inauguration of the exhibition “La Galería de los Ilustres” (October 4), which has more than 50 panels exhibited at the Campus Oriente Extension Center, the rector of the Catholic University, Ignacio Sánchez, also the authors of the book and curators of the exhibition Marc Turrel, who is a delegate of the Napoleón Foundation, and Patrick Puigmal, who is also vice-rector for Research and Postgraduate studies at the Universidad de los Lagos.

The exhibition, which will be open to the general public until October 28, will also feature the colloquium “Óscar Castro, the El Aleph theater and its contributions to cultural exchanges between Chile and France”, which will take place on Friday, October 8 ( 14: 30-16: 30) and will feature the participation of academics Manuel Gárate (UC History Institute), Inés Stranger (UC Theater School) and the director of the Sciences Po Skills and Innovation Institute, Delphine Grouès. The presentation of the colloquium will be made by the UC Research Director, María Elena Boisier.

On October 28 (11: 00-13: 00) there will be the colloquium and the official closing “Chile-France cooperation in connection with the territory and the new challenges of scientific and university cooperation”. Representatives of the research carried out at the UC will participate together with France and Alejandro Maass, director of the Center for Mathematical Modeling (IRL-CMM). The colloquium will be moderated by the vice-rector for UC Research, Pedro Bouchon.

The exhibition is sponsored by the French Embassy in Chile , the French Institute of Chile, the Franco-Chilean Chamber of Commerce, the University of Los Lagos, the University of Chile, the University of Concepción and the Directorate of Cultural Extension of the University of the Andes. Meanwhile, the exhibition is sponsored by the Napoleon Foundation, the French Alliance of Concepción, MSC – Mémoire (Stratégie Conseil) and ARQMAR-Research Center in Maritime Archeology of the South Eastern Pacific.

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