Panda to the barricade!

From 20th August 2016                                                        PandaBarricade

Several times at the end of carriages on the Paris Metro I saw this poster for the French section of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature. At first, I thought it slightly strange, but vaguely familiar. The penny (or centime, or eurocent) gradually dropped, followed up by a quick computer search. Its composition (cropped from landscaped to portrait) mimicked the Delacroix painting

‘La Liberté guidant le peuple’

(You can see it at

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_Leading_the_People).

The panda, icon of WWF, replaces Marianne, the symbolic figure of Liberty and Revolution in France and the flag now says  WWF rather than being the tricolour of revolution. The two foreground figures on the panda’s right are similar format to the original, with one of them wearing a tall hat. The adoring person in the middle at the front has being replaced by an adoring spaniel.
The corpses in front of the barricade have been cropped off and the poster has less in the way of weaponry.
But the essential feature is a masterpiece of the advertising trade by harking back to an image familiar to all educated French people. The French wording is simple and straightforward; even a foreigner can read it easily. In fact the man at the left of the picture has an English slogan on his t-shirt ‘Keep Calm and Save the Earth’. (I can’t help feeling that General de Gaulle wouldn’t have liked it being in English.)
Figureheads of the WWF have included Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, our Prince Philip and now Prince Charles. I wonder how they would feel about a poster lauding on the 1830 revolution which finally overthrew the legitimate monarchy in France. I hope they would be happy about it if it brings money and support.

My other picture, taken in La Defense, is probably the biggest picture of a panda in Paris; it advertises Beauval animal park in the Loire valley.

PandaLaDefense

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