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ï»¿During the French Revolution of 1789, the new French Republic established the use of 'Marianne' as its' own national emblem. Although Marianne never became an official symbol, she nevertheless universally represents France as a State and its values and symbolizes and personifies 'Liberty' and 'Reason'. It was during its' First Republic and later, the Revolution of 1848 that the use of Marianne became more solidified. Nevertheless, a magnificent and entrenched example of Marianne applied on a military memorial can be found on one of the most visited monuments of Paris as well as "â€¦is the most illustrious symbol of French national history": Lâ€™Arc de Triomphe. One of the monument's most visible and important component is its' pedestals or pillars ornated with four allegorical larger than life-size high reliefs or main sculptures that are treated as independent trophies. Of the four sculptural groups or panels at the base of the Arc, the most renowned is the 'DÃ©part des volontaires en 1792' (Departure of the Volunteers in 1792), which is also known as 'La Marseillaise' - the national anthem of France. Often quoted as a "work full of energy and fire", this colossal masterpiece created between 1833 and 1836 by the French Romantic sculptor FranÃ§ois Rude (4 January 1784 - 3 November 1855) depicts Marianne - who represents the spirit of France - as an angry warrior voicing the Marseillaise and calling her citizens to fight. Although the Marseillaise was composed in April 1792 by Claude Rouget de Lisle (10 May 1760 - 26 June 1836), officer in charge in Strasbourg, following the declaration of war in France to Austria, the Marseillaise - despite its great success and popularity - was not adopted as its official national anthem until 14 February 1879 by the National Assembly. In September 2015, on the occasion of the 180th anniversary of the death of Rouget, the president of the French Republic announced that the year 2016 would be devoted to 'La Marseillaise'. 2016 - Year of the Marseillaise would allow each of the French, and to the youth in particular, to reclaim the link that unites La Marseillaise and the history of the nation.
On this day, 14 February 2019, we celebrate the 140th anniversary of the official adoption of La Marseillaise as the French national anthem and commemorate the 183rd year since the death of Claude Rouget the composer of La Marseillaise as well as the creation of FranÃ§ois Rude's famous sculpture of the same name.