François Hollande visits the exhibition, Mission Île de la cité: le cœur du cœur, at the Conciergerie in Paris. Photograph: Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes

About 200 years before Christ, the fishermen and boatmen of the Parisi tribe settled on a ship-shaped island in the Seine, which they gave the Celtic (...)

Only 73 French people have been interred in the Pantheon in Paris, more than half by Napoleon. “Pantheonisation” is one of the last privileges left to a French president, but like everything else, it has turned into a dilemma for François Hollande. Photograph: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

It was a day devoted to the quest for heroes, in an age that no longer seems to produce them. Three former prime ministers, six of France’s leading hi(...)