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8 fun facts about the late ex-French’ president Jacques Chirac

The 26th September of this year, Jacques Chirac, French’s president between 1995 and 2007, had passed away. He cultivated an image of an ignorant president who only have interest in women, wine and good food. But he also was really cultured – he always keeps it secret – and he was passionate by primary art. During his 40s years career, the “political animal” said a couple of quotes and did actions that make him famous as a cool and funny president.

Chirac and Sarkozy

In 2004, Nicolas Sarkozy is rising to power. Jacques Chirac said about his finance minister during an interview: “there is no problem between the finance minister and I for a simple reason: I decide, he executes.”

Chirac Sarkozy 24 mars 1981
Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy during their youth.

The Nikki-Beach

Jacques Chirac was in love with pretties women. With his friend Jean-Louis Debré and his wife Bernadette Chirac, he came to the famous Nikki-beach in St Tropez, one of the favorite Jet set restaurants. What a surprise for Madam Chirac when they were welcomed by two topless waitresses (The ex-president was aware). One of them ask Mr. Chirac to take a picture. Bernadette ordered Jean-Louis Debré to placed himself between the ex-president and the waitress.

The rib steak for breakfast

Jean-Louis Debré relate that Jacques Chirac ate a rib steak of 800g (!) for breakfast at 8 in the morning during a visit in a market. When they came back, he asked the president: “What do we do now?” His answer was: “I’ll have lunch”

Bio food

With Jean-Louis Debré and his daughter, they came to a bio restaurant in Paris. It was the first time Jacques Chirac ate quinoa. He asked: “is it dangerous?” When he finishes, he went to a bar to eat a rib steak.

He refused to celebrate to anniversary of the America discovery

When he was the mayor of Paris, his cultural affairs directors propose to celebrate the 500e anniversary of the America discovery. He refused because “We, European, behaved as slob. We used violence to people we met, we wiped out them, we brought our disease, we exterminated them, we turned them as slaves, we destroyed their civilization”.

Mexican masks. Photo Hervé Germain.

He loved primary arts

During a visit in 2004, he fixed the Shanghai museum curator about the date of a vase made of bronze. He also builds a museum for primary arts in Paris: le Musée du Quai Branly, named Musée du Quai Branly Jacques Chirac in 2016

Musée du Quai Branly in Paris. Photo Snoeziesterre.

He was passionate about the history of civilizations

While dinner in Pekin with China’s president Jiang Zemin, he talked about the 3 imperator who ran the country before Tang dynasty. China’s president argued they were two. Jacques Chirac fixed him and said, “the third one died when he was 9 months”. During the night, Jiang Zemin checked it with the best historians and called the French president. He was right.

Chirac and Thatcher

During a European meeting in 1988, Jacques Chirac, prime minister at this time, had an argument with Margaret Thatcher. He thought his microphone was off and he said: “what this shrew wants to me? My balls on a tray?” This sentence stays famous in French culture.

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