L'affaire des incendies (The arson case)
The village of Longepierre is deeply marked by a judicial tragedy that made headlines. In the middle of the 19th century, in a troubled political context, two notorious republican inhabitants were accused of the fires that destroyed two thirds of the town. Pierre Vaux, teacher, and Jean-Baptiste Petit, shoemaker, were unfairly sentenced to hard labour in Cayenne. 150 years later, the inhabitants of the village wanted to pay tribute to them. They called on the Fondation de France's New Patrons action, which allows citizens to commission an artist with the help of a cultural mediator and thus participate in the construction of a common contemporary culture.
The three-kilometre pedestrian route runs through the village along the explanatory signs at the location of the burned houses. It ends with a sculpture by Anita Molinero, presented in two elements : the first in the courtyard of the town hall ; the second in the aedicula of the former public scale. These structures are illuminated every evening with a flaming red as if to revive the memory. "From 1851, the year of the glow of the first fires, to the incandescence of my sculpture, who today remembers the fire? "says the artist. "It is a tragedy of fledgling democracy. The work I created is not the erasure of sad events but memory and repair. "For Guy Thiébaut, president of the initiative committee for the memory of Pierre Vaux and Jean-Baptiste Petit, "the commemorative aspect of the past but also the contemporary work challenges the walker. It is also a questioning on injustice at the commands. »