“President Emmanuel Macron has indeed asked to start preparations for an operation to bring back the remains of General Gudin. A ceremony involving Vladimir Putin is planned,” the source in the presidential administration told Le Point newspaper.
A one-legged skeleton genetically matching the 44-year-old friend of the French emperor was discovered in a coffin buried under a public park in the heart of the Russian city of Smolensk this past summer.
History has it that Gudin was hit by a cannonball that blew off one of his legs and shattered the other during the Battle of Valutino. He was taken to Smolensk and Napoleon stayed at his bedside until he died days later from gangrene.
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last month that Gudin’s remains would be handed over to France if it asked for them. Macron reportedly raised the issue with Putin during the Paris summit this past Monday.
France reportedly plans to bury the general at a sprawling military museum complex in Paris following a ceremony, which Putin will be invited to attend. The museum grounds also serve as the final resting place for some of France’s war heroes, including Napoleon.
Sputnik / Grigory Sisoyev
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