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Patrice Lumumba

Patrice Émery Lumumba was a Congolese politician and independence leader who served as the first Prime Minister of the independent Democratic Republic of the Congo from June until September 1960. He played a significant role in the transformation of the Congo from a colony of Belgium into an independent republic. Ideologically an African nationalist and Pan-Africanist, he led the Congolese National Movement party from 1958 until his assassination. Shortly after Congolese independence in 1960, a mutiny broke out in the army, marking the beginning of the Congo Crisis. Lumumba appealed to the United States and the United Nations for help to suppress the Belgian-supported Katangan secessionists led by Moise Tshombe. Both refused, so Lumumba turned to the Soviet Union for support; this led to growing differences with President Joseph Kasa-Vubu and chief-of-staff Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, as well as with the United States and Belgium, who opposed the Soviet Union in the Cold War. Lumumba was subsequently imprisoned by state authorities under Mobutu and executed by a firing squad under the command of Katangan authorities.

Following his assassination, he was seen as a martyr for the wider Pan-African movement. In 2002, Belgium formally apologised for its role in the assassination. Patrice Lumumba was born on 2 July 1925 to a farmer, François Tolenga Otetshima, his wife Julienne Wamato Lomendja, in Onalua in the Katakokombe region of the Kasai province of the Belgian Congo, he was born with the name Élias Okit ` Asombo. His original surname means "heir of the cursed" and is derived from the Tetela words okitá/okitɔ́ and asombó, he had one half-brother. Raised in a Catholic family, he was educated at a Protestant primary school, a Catholic missionary school, the government post office training school, where he passed the one-year course with distinction. Lumumba spoke Tetela, Lingala and Tshiluba. Outside of his regular studies, Lumumba took an interest in the Enlightenment ideals of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Voltaire, he was fond of Molière and Victor Hugo. He wrote poetry, many of his works had an anti-imperialist theme.

He worked as a traveling beer salesman in Léopoldville and as a postal clerk in a Stanleyville Post Office for eleven years. In 1951, he married Pauline Opangu. In the period following World War II, young leaders across Africa worked for national goals and independence from the colonial powers. In 1955, Lumumba became regional head of the Cercles of Stanleyville and joined the Liberal Party of Belgium, he distributed party literature. After a study tour in Belgium in 1956, he was arrested on charges of embezzlement of $2500 from the post office, he was convicted and sentenced one year to twelve months imprisonment and a fine. After his release, Lumumba helped found the Mouvement National Congolais party on 5 October 1958, became the organization's leader; the MNC, unlike other Congolese parties developing at the time, did not draw on a particular ethnic base. It promoted a platform that included independence, gradual Africanisation of the government, state-led economic development, neutrality in foreign affairs.

Lumumba had a large popular following, due to his personal charisma, excellent oratory, ideological sophistication. As a result, he had more political autonomy than contemporaries who were more dependent on Belgian connections. Lumumba was one of the delegates who represented the MNC at the All-African Peoples' Conference in Accra, Ghana, in December 1958. At this international conference, hosted by Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah, Lumumba further solidified his Pan-Africanist beliefs. Nkrumah was impressed by Lumumba's intelligence and ability. In late October 1959, Lumumba, as leader of the MNC, was arrested for inciting an anti-colonial riot in Stanleyville, he was sentenced to 69 months in prison. The trial's start date of 18 January 1960 was the first day of the Congolese Round Table Conference in Brussels, intended to make a plan for the future of the Congo. Despite Lumumba's imprisonment, the MNC won a convincing majority in the December local elections in the Congo; as a result of strong pressure from delegates upset by Lumumba's trial, he was released and allowed to attend the Brussels conference.

The conference culminated on 27 January with a declaration of Congolese independence. It set 30 June 1960 as the independence date with national elections to be held from 11–25 May 1960; the MNC won a plurality in the election. Six weeks before the date of independence, Walter Ganshof van der Meersch was appointed as the Belgian Minister of African Affairs, he lived in Léopoldville, in effect becoming Belgium's de facto resident minister in the Congo, administering it jointly with Governor-general Hendrik Cornelis. He was charged with advising Baudouin on the selection of a formateur. On 8 June Ganshof flew to Brussels to meet with Baudouin, he made three suggestions for formateur: Lumumba, as the winner of the elections. Ganshof returned to the Congo on 12 June; the following day he appointed Lumumba to be informateur, tasked with investigating the possibility of forming a national unity government that included politicians with a wide range of views, with 16 June as his deadline. The same day as Lumumba's appointment

FĂ©lix Charpentier

Félix Charpentier was a French sculptor. Félix Charpentier's father worked in a brick making factory and in 1871, Félix started work in the same factory, he was to show artistic talent when young and at the age of 7 he was modelling small figures from wood and from the clay which he found at the brickworks where his father was working. At 16 years of age he went to Avignon and enrolled at the École des Beaux-Arts there and became a pupil of the sculptor Armand. In 1877, he entered the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Paris and worked in the studio of Pierre-Jules Cavelier and Amédée Doublemard. From 1878 onwards, Felix' reputation grew and in 1869 he won the silver medal at the Exposition Universelle and received several commissions, he exhibited each year at the Salon des Artistes Français. In 1882 the Salon awarded him a citation for the composition entitled "Le Repos du Moissonneur" and in 1884 he was awarded the 3rd Prize medal for the composition entitled "Le Jeune Faune", purchased by the city of Paris.

In 1887 his submission of the work in plaster entitled the "L'Improvisateur" won him the 2nd Prize medal and a paid visit to Italy and in 1889 with a bronze version of the same piece he won a silver medal at the Paris World Fair. In 1890 he won the Salon's 1st Prize medal and the Exhibition Prize for the compositions of "La Chanson" in marble and "Lutteurs" in plaster; the marble version of "Les Lutteurs" was to subsequently bring him the Salon's highest award, the "Medal of Honour". It since 1905 has stood by the town hall of Bollène. On 5 May 1892, the day of the unveiling of the monument celebrating Avignon's absorption into France, he was decorated with the title of Chevalier of the Légion of Honour. In 1888 he had married his model, Léa Lucas and they had a daughter called Francine. In 1900 he was elected mayor of Chassant in Eure-et-Loir. During his life he received commissions for a number of public monuments and after the Great War he was chosen as the sculptor of various war memorials.

After the end of the 1914–1918 war there was a huge demand for sculptors to work on war memorials There was a tendency for commissions for war memorial sculpture to be given to sculptors, born in the location involved or at least lived there. For this reason Charpentier was the preferred sculptor for the war memorials of Bollène, Sainte-Cécile-les-Vignes and Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux, all in the region of his birth, whilst his adopted region commissioned him to carry out the sculptural work on the war memorials of Béville-le-Comte, Brou, Combres, Dangeau, Frétigny, Fruncé and Unverre, he was asked to work on the war memorials of Misy-sur-Yonne and Genas. He worked on a number of busts of prominent people and various medallions. Notes on some of the war memorials involving work by Charpentier are shown below, War memorials by Félix Charpentier A good number of Charpentier's works have been reproduced in limited editions, these in varying sizes. Many are in bronze and others in "Biscuit de Sèvres" Félix Charpentier in American public collections, on the French Sculpture Census website

Newark Park

Newark Park is a Grade I listed country house of Tudor origins located near the village of Ozleworth, Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire. The house sits in an estate of 700 acres at the southern end of the Cotswold escarpment with views down the Severn Valley to the Severn Estuary; the house and estate have been in the care of the National Trust since 1946. Newark Park was a four-storey Tudor hunting lodge built between 1544 and 1556 for Sir Nicholas Poyntz, whose main seat was at Acton Court near Bristol, some fifteen miles to the south, an easy day's ride; the Poyntz family were anciently feudal barons of Curry Mallet in Somerset of Iron Acton in Gloucestershire. Poyntz was a Groom of the Privy Chamber to Henry VIII and had remodeled Acton Park in anticipation of a royal visit. "Newark is fashionable in terms of its precocious classicism," observes Nicholas Cooper, who points out its rigorously symmetrical front, unprecedented in the main body of any great house in its time, the correct Tuscan order of its original main door.

The house was called "New Work" and was constructed with building materials from the dissolved Kingswood Abbey, some five miles away. The lodge was three bays wide and of single-pile construction, one room deep. In the basement was a kitchen, there were two reception rooms on the ground floor and a banqueting room on the first. Modest sleeping quarters were provided on the third floor, the roof was flat so that it could be used as a pleasurable lookout over the surrounding countryside, in which it enjoys a commanding position, it was built at about the same time as nearby Siston Court was being built by Sir Maurice Denys, first cousin of Poyntz's wife Jane Berkeley. Poyntz's original lodge now forms the eastern part of the present structure. In 1600 the lodge was sold to the Low family of London who in 1672 extended the building by the addition of a second four-storey building to the west, joined to the original by a passage stairway creating an H-shaped footprint; the Lows owned Newark Park until 1722 when it was sold for £6,010 to the Harding family who after making some minor alterations sold it to James Clutterbuck.

The Clutterbucks engaged the architect James Wyatt to remodel it into a four-square house in 1790. Their improvements included the creation of a formal deer-park to the south of the house and landscaping of the rest of the grounds; the Clutterbucks left Newark in 1860 and let it out, but though it was tenanted the occupants continued to make alterations and improvements. Mrs Annie Poole King family, widow of a Bristol shipping merchant took the leasehold in 1898, moving from the larger Standish House at Stonehouse, Gloucestershire. A member of the Berkeley Hunt, she had five children, plus a house staff of a coachman, cook and gardener; the King family added servants' quarters on the north side, installed a hot-air heating system and ran hot water to the second floor. The Kings stayed at Newark until 1949 when the last of the line died and the owner, Mrs Power-Clutterbuck, gave Newark Park and its estates to the National Trust; when the Trust took ownership they did not open Newark Park to the public but instead let it out to tenants who ran it as a nursing home.

By 1970 the house was in a state of the gardens overgrown. It was in this state that American architect Robert Parsons, who had long expressed a desire to take on an English country house in need of repair, took the tenancy and began a painstaking programme of renovation and rehabilitation to both the house and the grounds, it was due to Bob Parson's efforts that the architectural importance of the house was acknowledged and the Grade I listing achieved. The property is now open to the public in summer every day of the week except Tuesdays. Information from the National Trust website