‘A Mighty Woman With a Torch’: Bastille Day at French Ambassador’s Residence


It could not be more fitting for the Embassy of France to unveil a beautiful miniature replica of the Statue of Liberty which will greet visitors as they enter the gates of Ambassador Phillipe Etienne’s residence in the heart of Kalorama, D.C., as it reminds us of its raison d’être: “Liberty Enlightening the World.”

The celebration on July 14 in commemoration of Bastille Day and France’s gift to America lent itself perfectly to the many diplomats, Members of Congress and devoted French admirers to reaffirm the alliance of France and the United States –– and salute when the Statue of Liberty first stood in 1886 in New York Harbor, thanks to France.

Guests represented countries from afar. On hand and giving remarks were Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, D.C. Secretary of State Kimberly Bassett as well Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic –– all warmly welcomed by Ambassador Etienne, along with Champagne and oysters and heavy hors d’oeuvres.

Attendees also got the chance to participate in William Adair’s ongoing landmark art project, “The Golden Doors to Infinity,” by signing or drawing on golden doors positioned throughout the residence.

Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) with French Ambassador Phillipe Etienne. Photo by Robert Devaney.

At the residence, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken signs a golden door that is part of William Adair’s art project, “The Golden Doors to Infinity.” Photo by @franceintheus

At entrance to the French ambassador’s residence, speakers Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, D.C. Secretary of State Kimberly Bassett and Ambassador Phillipe Etienne acclaimed the Franco-American alliance and the Statue of Liberty. Photo by @franceintheus

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