Prime Minister Gabriel Attal announced on Friday in La Rochelle the holding of a "major national exhibition" in 2026 on the memory of slavery, as well as the future creation of a

specific label for slavery memorial sites.

Gabriel Attal presided over the ceremony commemorating the abolition of slavery on Friday, May 10, in La Rochelle, announcing a "major national exhibition" in 2026 and praising the "spirit of resistance" of former slaves.

With slavery, "the boundaries of humanity are reached, exceeded." "This story is part of the history of the world, of Europe, of France. It was written in Versailles, in Paris, in the ports of La Rochelle, Nantes, Bordeaux," declared the Prime Minister during a speech.

"For too long, a veil has been cast over this past." "Recognizing it is not weakening, on the contrary, it is growing," he also declared. "As long as there was slavery, there was resistance" and "on this May 10, it is also this spirit of resistance that I want to salute."

Previously, the statue "Clarisse" by the Haitian artist Filipo had been unveiled, in Aimé-Césaire Alley, named after a slave bought in Santo Domingo and freed by the city council in 1793.

The Prime Minister expressed his wish that a "major national exhibition on the memory of slavery could be held in 2026, for the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the law recognizing slavery as a crime against humanity."

He also announced the upcoming creation of a specific label for slavery memorial sites, requested by local authorities. "Everyone will know, everyone will see, by walking through our streets and cities, the places where the history of slavery was written. Everyone will be able to remember better, understand better."

The Haitian debt mentioned "Because we are looking history in the face, because we want to make it known, we will continue to fight the battle of education," also declared the Prime Minister, who was accompanied by the Minister of Education Nicole Belloubet.

Gabriel Attal's predecessor at Matignon (2012-2014), former mayor of Nantes and president of the Foundation for the Memory of Slavery, Jean-Marc Ayrault had previously mentioned Haiti, in the presence of the Haitian ambassador to France, Josué Pierre Dahomey.

"Next year will mark the 200th anniversary of the indemnity from which Haiti has never recovered," he declared, referring to the royal decree of April 17, 1825, which imposed on Haiti, a new independent state, to pay 150 million francs gold to compensate "the former French colonists of Santo Domingo."

"This is why many of us hope that this bicentenary will be an opportunity for a great gesture of fraternity from France towards the Haitian people. This approach, it is fair, because it would come to repair one of the greatest injustices in history," insisted Jean-Marc Ayrault, relaying a call from the mayor of La Rochelle, Jean-François Fountaine.

Gabriel Attal testified to the "solidarity" and "support" of France "to the Haitian people". "In all the work that will be carried out, in all the work that will allow us even more to look our history in the face and to draw consequences from it, France will hold its rank". Photo by Antoine Lamielle, Wikimedia commons.