In Marseille, the funeral of Jean-Claude Gaudin brings together an audience of political figures

In Marseille, the funeral of Jean-Claude Gaudin brings together an audience of political figures
In Marseille, the funeral of Jean-Claude Gaudin brings together an audience of political figures
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PASCAL GUYOT / AFP An audience of political figures at the funeral of Jean-Claude Gaudin in Marseille (here Nicolas Sarkozy, Albert II and Brigitte Macron)

PASCAL GUYOT / AFP

An audience of political figures at the funeral of Jean-Claude Gaudin in Marseille (here Nicolas Sarkozy, Albert II and Brigitte Macron)

POLITICS – They came, they were (almost) all there. The funeral of Jean-Claude Gaudin, mayor of Marseille for a quarter of a century, was celebrated this Thursday, May 23 in the Marseille city, in front of an audience of personalities, particularly politicians, who came to pay tribute to this figure of the French right. Brigitte Macron, Nicolas Sarkozy, Gérard Larcher and François Bayrou were among those present.

The mass began around 3:30 p.m. in the cathedral of the Major, full, located not far from the Old Port, facing the sea. No crowd in front of the building, but some 200 people gathered.

Inside, the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi (Horizons) or Prince Albert II of Monaco were seated in the first rows. The government was represented by the Minister of Ecological Transition, Christophe Béchu, and Marseillaise Sabrina Agresti-Roubache, Secretary of State for the City.

Papin, Payan, Muselier…

The procession left early in the afternoon from Gaudin’s native district, Mazargues, in the south of France’s second city. The hearse, filled with wreaths of flowers, and flanked by eight other cars, stopped for a few moments in front of the Mazargues church square as the bells tolled the death knell, before leaving to applause.

He then made a brief stop in front of City Hall where, in the words of the current left-wing mayor Benoît Payan, Jean-Claude Gaudin “dedicated himself” in Marseille from 1995 to 2020. Then the procession headed towards the cathedral where Jean-Pierre Papin, Ballon d’Or 1991, the president of the Senate, Gérard Larcher, and the president of OM, Pablo Longoria were present , as well as the president of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, Renaud Muselier.

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Jean-Claude Gaudin « was not only the voice and face of Marseille, he was a figure of French democracy” And “a figure of the great regionalist movement”declared François Bayrou, president of MoDem.

Born to a mason father and a mother who worked in a rope factory, Jean-Claude Gaudin became a professor of history and geography in a private college, then was also a senator and minister, but above all mayor of Marseille. He suffered a heart attack Monday morning, at the age of 84, in his second home in Saint-Zacharie in Var.

The ceremony in tribute to this fervent Catholic was chaired by Cardinal Jean-Marc Aveline, Archbishop of Marseille. It will be followed by a burial in the Mazargues cemetery, where the former businessman Bernard Tapie, who died in 2021, rests.

As of Wednesday, the majority of elderly people had come to pay their respects in front of the body of the deceased in his living room decorated with a library furnished and decorated with paintings representing various Marseille churches, as well as the landscapes of the nearby coves, where Jean-Claude Gaudin had a shed.

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