We loved Belmondo, he reminded us of our contradictions: French President

Photo: PAP/EPA/IAN LANGSDON / POOL

"We loved Belmondo because he reminded us of our own contradictions," French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday when he gave a farewell speech to the great actor and film producer Jean-Paul Belmondo, who died on Monday. A farewell and a national tribute to the star of French cinema were organised in the courtyard of the Palace of the Invalides in Paris.

"Dear Jean-Paul, to lose you is to lose part of our life," Mr. Macron said. He added that the actor has become a member of the family for the French.

"Jean-Paul Belmondo talked about our contradictions, our shortcomings. We love his loneliness, his love of risk, the elegance of his joy, his style,” the president recalled. He was unpretentious, he never tried to force the thesis,” Macron said, addressing the actor's relatives and guests gathered in the courtyard of the Palace of the Disabled.

The grandson of the actor, Victor Belmondo described his grandfather as "the eternal sun". “Throughout his life, he never stopped looking for happiness, but most of all he gave it to others. Both for his family and for everyone else. He is the eternal sun. Thank you for giving us so much joy, ”he said.

The ceremony ended with a farewell to the soundtrack from the movie "The Professional" composed by Ennio Morricone, and on Thursday the orchestra of the Republican Guard played. Well known attendees at the ceremony included Patrick Bruel, Gilles Lellouche, Jean Dujardin, Guillaume Canet and Marion Cotillard, and DJ Bob Sinclar.

Saint Augustine said that the dead are invisible, not absent. For me, Jean-Paul is not absent. (...) He would not like us to be absent. The immortal Jean-Paul will never leave, " said journalist and presenter Michel Drucker.

In addition to the family and many members of the government, about a thousand fans of the actor came to the courtyard of the palace.

Belmondo's funeral will take place on Friday at the Saint Germain des Pres church in Paris. The ceremony will be followed by his cremation.

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