Elected officials, personalities and anonymous people will pay a final tribute this Wednesday to the former mayor of Lyon and former Minister of the Interior Gérard Collombduring funeral at Saint-Jean Cathedralin the historic heart of the city that he has long embodied.
The celebration, chaired by the Archbishop of Lyon Mgr Olivier de Germay, will be held from 11 a.m. in the presence of Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne. The head of state, to whom the Lyon baron had provided decisive support during the 2017 presidential election, must speak at the ceremony, as will his former Prime Minister Édouard Philippe and academician Marc Lambron.
The ceremony broadcast on a giant screen
In accordance with the wishes expressed during his lifetime, a large part of the places within the cathedral will be reserved for Lyonnais. A giant screen will also broadcast the ceremony live on the square in front of the primatial. Suffering from stomach cancer, Gérard Collomb died Saturday evening at the age of 76.
Emmanuel Macronwho had proposed to him Place Beauvau just after his election, was one of the first to salute a mayor with “exceptional talents for dialogue and imagination” who was also, according to him, a “statesman embodying republican ascension and authority” .
Since then, from the Senate to the OL stadium, the tributes have continued to flow. “Tireless servant of the State, republican, companion from the very beginning of the President: Gérard Collomb has served the French all his life,” underlined Élisabeth Borne.
“We will miss his vision, lucid on the ills of our society,” added the president of the Auvergne – Rhône-Alpes region Laurent Wauquiez, announced at the funeral, like former president François Hollande and many local elected officials.
His coffin on display at the town hall
Born on June 20, 1947 in Chalon-sur-Saône (Saône-et-Loire) to a father who was a metalworker and a mother who was a housekeeper, this socialist activist who joined En Marche from the start remained one of the emblematic political figures of the capital of Gaul, of which he was mayor from 2001 to 2017 then from 2018 to 2020.
Gérard Collomb “left his indelible mark on our city, working for twenty years for its development”, in the words of environmentalist mayor Grégory Doucet.
VIDEO. Death of Gérard Collomb, former Minister of the Interior under Emmanuel Macron and ex-mayor of Lyon
From Monday, a regular flow of visitors came to pay their respects in front of the coffin of the former councilor, exhibited at the Town Hall, where the flags had been lowered to half-mast. Grateful Lyonnais paraded without flowers, as the family had requested, before recording their memories of this “builder mayor” and “visionary” in a register of condolences.
Defeated by the Greens in 2020
Elected at the head of Lyon in 2001 with the support of Raymond Barre after two unsuccessful attempts which had left him on the benches of the municipal opposition, he left his post in 2017 to become Minister of the Interior in the government of ‘Édouard Philippe.
Weakened politically by the Benalla affair“difficult to live with” according to him, this “faithful among the faithful” had resigned with a bang in October 2018 to resume his functions in Lyon which he had handed over to two of his lieutenants.
Deprived of the investiture of the Republic in March, he failed to reconquer the metropolis in 2020, beaten by the Greens. He had disappeared from the local political scene since he himself announced his cancer on social networks on September 16, 2022.