Bastille Day celebrated in Francophile Style in Newport


Benedict Leca lectures on collecting French items at the Seamen's Church Institute

The Alliance Française of Newport
celebrated Bastille Day in style on Friday, July 14, 2017 with a wreath-laying ceremony at The Rochambeau statue in King Park and at a reception  immediately following  at The Seamen’s Church Institute.

Newport Mayor, Harry Winthrop, offered the wreath-laying ceremony’s opening remarks affirming Newport’s long history with the French people and French culture, recognizing the significant contributions of General Rochambeau’s Army in gaining American independence.

Mayor Harry Winthrop at the Rochambeau statue in Kings Park

Allen and George Antone, members of The Alliance Française of Newport, laid the floral wreath prepared by Cindy Dressler, also a member of AFN. Mr. Antone provided an informative presentation about General Rochambeau’s history in Newport. Those in attendance sang a rousing version of The Marseillaise.

Benedict Leca. Ph.D., Executive Director of The Redwood Library gave a talk entitled "Adventures in Francophilia: Curator’s Finds at the Parisian Flea Markets and on EBay"

According to Leca, “The advent of the internet has brought a golden age of collecting, allowing one to acquire rare or ephemeral material at a pace unthinkable in the conventional way.”  A collector of rare books, prints, drawings and ephemera relating to French art of the 18th and 19th centuries, Leca shared some of his most exciting finds of the last fifteen years with members of The Alliance.

The Alliance Française of Newport, part of an international organization for over 60 years, is dedicated to the study of the French language and to promoting cultural exchange.  Members of the AFN participate in conversation groups, cultural events such as the French Film Festival, art gallery and museum events, as well as lectures about French history and culture.

For further information about The Alliance Française of Newport, please contact Mary-Gail Smith, President, by email: or by phone at 401-601-5515.



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