France marks bicentenary of deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphics by Champollion
03 September 2022 | 10:57 am
Two hundred years ago, a young French linguist had a major eureka moment. In 1822, everything suddenly made sense for Jean-François Champollion as he deciphered hieroglyphics – the ancient Egyptian code which had bamboozled scholars for years. Thanks to his hard work, the mysterious symbols chipped into stone finally had meaning. In this special edition of France in Focus, we travel to the town of Vif in France's eastern Isère region to follow in the footsteps of the child prodigy who would become the first head of the Louvre museum's department of Egyptian antiquities.
This French Renaissance-style castle would probably have remained largely unknown if it hadn't become home to the secret wife of Louis XIV, Madame de Maintenon. Françoise d'Aubigné – her real name – was a woman of humble origins who is often compared to Cinderella. After Louis secretly married her, the Château de Maintenon underwent numerous transformations as she put her own stamp on it. Meanwhile, the French-style garden was designed by renowned landscape architect André Le Nôtre but was only laid out in 2013.
The French president has reshuffled his cabinet after losing an absolute majority in parliamentary elections last month. Some had to leave after losing their seats, others are facing different problems.
France: A father fights for his daughter
A testament to its history, France is sprinkled with beautiful villages and towns. To stand out, attract tourists or even new residents, many have turned to a variety of certificates, labels and competitions to boost their visibility. We've followed an inspector for the non-profit ‘Most Beautiful Villages of France’ who looked at the town of Bergheim to see if it’s worthy of obtaining this certification. We also met Christophe Alaux, a marketing professor, to understand the role of these labels.
This month marks 80 years since the Vél d'Hiv roundup, when French police detained 13,000 Parisian Jews, including 4,000 children, acting on orders from occupying German forces and their French allies in the Vichy Regime. Many were first sent to the Vélodrome d'Hiver stadium, which gave its name to this sinister chapter of French history, before being deported to Auschwitz, never to return. FRANCE 24’s Claire Paccalin and Stéphanie Trouillard met with survivors who managed to escape.
With a minimum of 30 days of paid leave per year, French people have the reputation of being on vacation all the time. During the summer months of July and August, parts of the country virtually shut down. So, what do they do with these cherished “congés payés”?
The German government Wednesday handed three works of art stolen during the Nazi occupation of France back to descendants of their original owner, the collector and Jewish lawyer Armand Dorville.
Moving up a gear: the return of the Women's Tour de France
Every year approximately 200,000 abortions are done in France. Nearly 40 years after the practice was legalized in that country, the number of abortions is stable: fewer women are having abortions but repeat abortions (the same woman having more than one abortion) are increasing.
In this special edition, we report on the return of the Women’s Tour de France. After more than a 30-year absence, the race kicks off on July 24 from the Eiffel Tower, ending eight days later after a 1000 km ride through northern France. About 22 teams will be participating in the hope of winning the Yellow Jersey. Annette Young meets tour director Marion Rousse, along with other professional and amateur cyclists, including French national champion Audrey Cordot-Reagan. All of them hope that the event will give this women’s sport a much-needed global spotlight.
French President Emmanuel Macron is marking the 80th anniversary of the wartime round-up of Jews in France. Over two days in July 1942, French police rounded up 13,000 people for deportation to Auschwitz.
Thousands have been evacuated from their homes by authorities in France and Spain. More than 1,200 firefighters are deployed in Gironde, a prefecture in Bordeaux, France. Thousands of hectares have burned in Portugal.
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