If you don’t know it already, let me introduce you to the Marshal Ney Statue :
If you don’t know who Michel Ney was, let me just tell you that he was one of the marshals in the Revolutionary Wars, alongside and under Napoleon who called him “the bravest of the braves.” If you want the long version of his fascinating life, Wikipedia has a pretty decent page about him.
However, the statue itself has a small history of its own. First know that it’s located on Place de l’Observatoire, roughly on the spot where Marshal Ney was executed, right in front of the Closerie des Lilas.
The statue was considered by the surrealists as one of the most fascinating statue of the world (I can’t find the exact quote, sorry), possibly because of Brassaï’s picture of it, possibly because they were often getting really drunk at the Closerie and would hang out in front of it completely wasted.
Also, Hemingway devotes many lines of A Moveable Feast to it. I meant to quote him here, but I can’t find my copy of the book anywhere… Damn! (that being said, consider this a teaser for an idea of a small website I have that I hope will be born in the coming months).