Distinguished Lecture: Mr Dominique de Villepin on the Napoléonic Legend
Mr Dominique de Villepin, a former French Prime Minister and a historian famous for his award-winning book on Napoléonic studies, gave a lecture today (23 October) on the campus of The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK).
Themed “In Memory of Napoléon Bonaparte: A 250-year Legend”, the talk was the second lecture under EdUHK’s Distinguished Lecture Series in French Culture and Education. It was also part of the French Consulate’s campaign to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Napoléon.
The audience comprised a mix of distinguished guests from the academic, business and diplomatic communities, apart from EdUHK scholars and students. The lecture provided a glimpse of the legend of Napoléon, who left an indelible mark on modern Europe and its civilisation in the realms of law, religion, culture and education. Joining the discussion were Mr Andrew Wells, former Chief Secretary and Acting Governor of St. Helena island, where Napoléon spent the last years of his life; and EdUHK Vice President (Research and Development) Professor Lui Tai-lok.
EdUHK President Professor Stephen Cheung Yan-leung said, “It is a great honour for EdUHK to welcome Mr de Villepin, a former Prime Minister of France who excels in history, art and literature. I am sure his lecture will be intellectually stimulating and rewarding for us to better understand the legacy of the historic giant.”
Mr Alexandre Giorgini, the Consul General of France in Hong Kong and Macau, said “In Asia, what people admire the most about Napoléon Bonaparte is not his conquests, but his leadership and sense of initiative. Somehow, he was the precursor of today’s businessmen.”
Mr de Villepin is the former Prime Minister of France under the late President Jacques Chirac. He is currently Chairman of the International Advisory Board of China Europe International Business School, and Advisor of “Belt and Road Think Tank, China”. He is a highly respected intellectual, poet, writer and historian, and has written a number of political articles, essays and books, including Les Cent-Jours ou l’esprit de sacrifice, an award-winning book on the 100 days between the return of Napoléon from Elba and his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.