N 14° 36.252 W 061° 04.071
The statue of the Empress Josephine is located on the north west area of Place de la Savane in Fort-de-France , Martinique. It was originally installed in the center of Place de la Savane and moved to this more inconspicuous location in La Savane by order of mayor Aimé Césaire in 1974.
A 5 meter high monument to Empress Josephine is sculpted out of white marble by Vital Dubray and dedicated on August 28, 1859. The front of the base as a relief sculpture of the coronation of Josephine as Empress.
On the other three side of the monument are plaques commemorating: Josephine's date of birth, date of marriage, and the erection of the statue.
Joséphine de Beauharnais born Marie-Josèphe-Rose of Tascher de La Pagerie on June 23, 1763 in the French colony of Martinique. Her father was a wealthy sugarcane plantation owner who owned over 300 slaves. She had two children by her first husband, Alexander de Beauharnais, who was guillotined on July 23, 1794 during the French Revolution.
She then married Napoleon Bonaparte on March 8 , 1796. As the first wife of the Emperor Napoleon I, she became the Empress of the French And the Queen of Italy until her divorce from Napoleon on December 16 , 1809. After her divorce she retired to the castle Navarre where she lived as the of Duchess of Navarre until her death on May 29 , 1814.
While she was Napoleon's wife Josephine convinced him to reestablish slavery on Martinique and all other French Colonies, which was previously abolished by the French Revolution in 1794. It wasn't until April 27, 1848 that slavery was once again abolished in the French colonies. For this reason the statue is not warmly received by the people of Martinique. On September 1991, the statue was decapitated and later splashed with red paint. It remains in defiled condition until the present.