vietnamnews Update: May, 06/2018 – 09:00
|Painting of West Lake by Hanoi-based artist George Burchett.|
by George Burchett*
Around the time Admiral Charles Rigault de Genouilly (1807-1873), under the orders of Emperor Napoleon III, fired the first canon shots of the Cochinchina campaign (1858-1862) to lay claim to what would become France’s colony of Indochina, Paris embarked on an epic renovation project directed by Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann, also under the Emperor’s orders. The plan was to modernise Paris and get rid of insalubrious slums – breeding ground for diseases as well as popular discontent. No doubt rich plunder from the colonies helped fund this – largely successful – imperial enterprise.