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Hollande to visit Jefferson house

Trip to America’s third president’s historic home hailed as a 'symbol of the shared history between France and America'

President François Hollande will make a symbolic visit to the historic home of Thomas Jefferson as part of his three-day state visit to America.

His visit to Monticello is being held up as a symbol of the shared history between France and the USA with a White House spokesperson saying: “The United States and France have been allies and friends since the days of the founding fathers.”

The spokesperson added: “Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, reflects his affection for the French, the links between our two democracies and the values we share and hold dear: ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’.”

Leslie Greene Bowman, president and CEO of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Inc, the private non-profit organisation that owns and operates Monticello, said: “Jefferson is our most famous Francophile.

“You only have to look at Monticello to see how Jefferson incorporated the cultural and intellectual vibrancy of France in his home.”

Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, from 1801-1809, was an ardent Francophile and was Minister to France during the Revolution.

On Tuesday, Mr Hollande will enjoy a red-carpet reception at the White House, followed by a state banquet. The final day of his visit will see the French President in San Francisco, where he will be promoting French start-up businesses and to meet the bosses of several Internet company giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Google.

Mr Hollande is the first French President to make a state visit to the USA since 1996.

The US trip is said to provide him a few days' relief from the pressures he faces in France. A recent opinion poll for Le Figaro magazine revealed Mr Hollande’s popularity was at an all-time low of 19%, following criticism for France’s high unemployment figures and the controversy surrounding his private life.


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