Corsica: Cargèse, nationalist stronghold and kingdom of the Colonna family

The Latin Church of Cargèse overlooks the sparkling bay. At the entrance: a portrait of Yvan Colonna painted on a simple wooden panel. Inside: only one hundred seats. The building will be far too small to accommodate family members and the many sympathizers of the nationalist cause who wish to attend the funeral. Opposite, 100 meters on another peak, the Greek Church of St. Spyridon, founded by a Hellenic colony in the 19th century.

To get there you have to take a winding road, following the sea for a good hour from Ajaccio. On the low walls that limit the path sometimes hostile messages are painted. insults against the police. The word “French” on a drawing of a coffin. “Glory to you Yvan” tagged in bus shelters or “we will miss you”. Probably the youngest whose nationalist fiber woke up on the day of Yvan Colonna’s attack. We meet a pensioner who removes these graffiti, especially the one put on the sea, when we arrive at the main car park: “French shit, please go home”.

An anti-France graffiti on a wall in Cargèse (Corse-du-Sud)

An anti-France graffiti on a wall in Cargèse (Corse-du-Sud)

Photo credit: Hugo Amelin / RTL

Interviewing the residents is not easy. “RTL, what are you doing here?” Can I check you in sir? “No I don’t speak”. Be silent. Behind this cultural Omerta facade, some still want to confide in what Yvan Colonna represented for them. “This village is a family, we all know each other. We’re all in trouble. Thinking of the Colonna parents we adore… and our little Yvan. I knew him as a child, he was adorable ”, slips Michèle, who spied on us from the front stairs of her house.

No tricolor flag on the pediment of Cargèse town hall, just a flag led by Moor. In Corsican, a large poster attached to a building in the center of the village: French state murderer, accompanied by Yvan Colonna’s most famous cliché: that of his search warrant. his face, younger, is also stenciled on several street corners. Another member of the Érignac command, Pierre Alessandri, hails from the area, historically one of the toughest in the struggle for independence.

A portrait of Yvan Colonna plastered in the streets of Cargèse.

A portrait of Yvan Colonna plastered in the streets of Cargèse.

Photo credit: Hugo Amelin / RTL

“Whether he is king or weak, a deceased, we must accompany him with dignity.” Antoine Forget, parish priest of Cargèse, will preside over the funeral. “His relatives hoped that Yvan would come back here alive. Does he mind holding a religious ceremony for a convicted assassin? “He has always maintained his innocence, who am I to judge?”, replies the churchman. “Prisoners are visited. They are also buried. Why should it be any different with him?” He is the Thanatos Corsica, son of night and darkness in mythology.

The editors recommend

Leave a Comment