Jacques Chirac (1932-2019)
The New Caledonia Office des Postes et Télécommunications is proud to present this new stamp designed as a tribute to Jacques Chirac (1932-2019), an iconic figure in the history of French politics.
Born in Paris on 29 November 1932, Jacques Chirac entered the prestigious “Sciences Po” research university in 1951, then studied at the Ecole Nationale d’Administration, from which he graduated in 1959. Following a period at the Cour des Comptes (Court of Audit), he turned to politics in 1962. He began his political career as a policy officer in Prime Minister Georges Pompidou’s cabinet, going on to become a town councillor for Sainte-Féréole (1965) and MP for the department of Corrèze (1967-1995); he was successively appointed Secretary of State (1967-1968 and 1968-1971), Deputy Minister (1971-1972), Minister of Agriculture (1972-1974) and Minister of the Interior (1974); he then served as Prime Minister during the presidencies of Valery Giscard d’Estaing (1974-1976) and later François Mitterrand (cohabitation) from 1986 to 1988.
In 1976, Jacques Chirac founded the Rassemblement pour la République (Rally for the Republic - RPR) party; he was appointed Mayor of Paris in 1977, and was leader of the opposition during François Mitterrand’s two terms of office as President (1981-1995), thereafter himself holding the office of French President (1995-2002 and 2002-2007).
During his time as President, to cite just a few examples, Jacques Chirac resumed and brought to a close the nuclear testing program on Mururoa in French Polynesia (1995-1996), acknowledged France's responsibility for the deportation of Jews under the Vichy regime (1995), established a professional army (1996), and pressed ahead with reforms aimed at decentralising state administration. He also opposed the invasion of Iraq by US forces (2003), enacted a law prohibiting the wearing of conspicuous religious symbols in schools, and enshrined the Environment Charter in the French Constitution (2005). As an ardent admirer of primitive art, Chirac also inaugurated the Museum of Primitive Arts in Paris (2006) and launched the Chirac Foundation for Sustainable Development and Cultural Dialogue (2008).
He died on 26 September 2019 in Paris at the age of 86.
The XPF 840 face value stamp shown here was created using intaglio techniques and offset printing. The design is by Jean-Jacques Mahuteau from a photo by Eric Lefeuvre, engraved by Elsa Catelin.