ST. TROPEZ, France—A 3 feet tall bronze statue of Sikh emperor Maharaja Ranjit Singh was installed in St. Tropez of France on September 17. The statue weighing 110 Kg was gifted by Chief Minister of Punjab Parkash Badal to French ambassador to India, Alexandre Ziegler, during the latter’s visit to Punjab Bhawan, Chandigarh in July this year.
The statue has been installed in St. Tropez as it is birthplace of French warrior General Jean-François Allard who was one of trusted Generals of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s army. General Allard had played a key role in modernising the Sikh army at par with European standards.
The statue was unveiled at Allard Square of St Tropez in a military ceremony in which Former General of Indian Army JJ Singh, Kulwinder Singh (France), Indian ambassador to France Mohan Kumar, Ludhiana resident Harjinder Singh Kukreja and others were present. Scores of French Sikhs were also present on this eve. Notably, the project of installing statue was personally supervised by St Tropez Mayor Jean-
Meanwhile, some organizers in France have alleged that the statue was not made purely of Bronze and it contains brass in major proportion. Notably, the statue has been made by famous sculptor Prabhat Rai of Madhya Pradesh and incurred cost worth Rs. 75,000 to Punjab government.
On being contacted by Sikh24 about the use of cheap metal brass for making statue, Navjot Singh Randhawa (Director of Tourism and Culture Department of Punjab) argued that the statue was gifted by Punjab government and judging the cost of a gift was not fair. He added that the statue was gifted by Chief Minister Parkash Badal taking personal interest in the project.