Montsoreau, the smallest village in Maine-et-Loire, prepares for the passage of the Olympic flame

Montsoreau, the smallest village in Maine-et-Loire, prepares for the passage of the Olympic flame
Montsoreau, the smallest village in Maine-et-Loire, prepares for the passage of the Olympic flame

Anjou is on fire for the Olympics with visits to seven sites in the department on Tuesday, May 28. The Olympic flame will leave Baugé-en-Anjou at 8:30 a.m. and arrive at 6:10 p.m. in Angers. She will stop at Montsoreau, the smallest village in Maine-et-Loire. An unforgettable moment for the 420 residents, who have been preparing for this event for six months.

No question of leaving the slightest weed lying around on the quay in Montsoreau. These residents, volunteers passionate about heritage, work to ensure that everything is impeccable as the Olympic flame passes. “We clean the paving stones to prevent the flame bearer from falling while slipping on the wet grass., explains Nicolas Chevalier, president of the Sauvegarde de Montsoreau association. And there are a lot of paving stones to weed. “But it’s happiness. It’s a thankless job, but we’re preparing the ground.”he continues, smiling.

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Volunteers from the Sauvegarde de Montsoreau association clear the paving stones of the quay before the passing of the Olympic flame on May 28

© @Eric Aubron France 3 Pays de la Loire

And I was far from imagining that I would one day carry the Olympic flame on my boat

Denis Retiveau

Mariner for 20 years in Montsoreau

A few meters further on, on the Loire, in his cabana, Denis Retiveau finishes the second rehearsal with his colleagues. The sailor has been sailing on the royal river for more than 20 years. “And I was far from imagining that I would one day carry the Olympic flame on my boat”he said with eyes sparkling with joy.

His journey will be followed by a decorated flotilla of 20 boats. The flame will sail 500 to 600 meters on the Loire before docking on the quay. There, a porter will take over. And will go to the castle a kilometer away.

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The Olympic flame will arrive at the Château de Montsoreau after having docked on the quay

© @Eric Aubron France 3 Pays de la Loire

This small town of 420 inhabitants has been preparing for the passage of the flame for 6 months. The municipality has invested at least 15,000 euros in the organization, hoping for significant tourist and economic benefits. “We expect 10,000 people for this event. We hope for benefits for our businesses and restaurants.”underlines Jacky Marchand, the mayor of Montsoreau.

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“Sacred fire” is the name of the sculpture in recycled steel and stainless steel made by Montsoreau artist Alan Reullier, to immortalize the passage of the flame.

© @Eric Aubron France 3 Pays de la Loire

On the quay, at the water’s edge, Alan Reullier, a village artist, refines his creation. A work of recycled metal and stainless steel, called “the sacred fire”. This participatory sculpture represents a stylized boat mast which brings the flame. She will remain there to immortalize this historic moment for Montsoreau.

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