WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | News, Weather & Sports

French President's Visit to Monticello Presents 'Significant' Opportunity

February 5, 2014

As President Barack Obama prepares to travel to Albemarle County next week with French President Francois Hollande, details about the itinerary and traffic impacts are still being worked out.

Albemarle County Police are working with state and federal officials to work out security and traffic plans.

"We do expect some traffic delays associated with the visit," Albemarle County Police spokeswoman Carter Johnson said. "We'll have some road closures and significant delays that we want people to be aware of and expecting."

Monticello will be closed to the general public on Monday, as the two presidents plan to discuss security and economic partnerships. But one professor at the University of Virginia says the trip will be worth much more for both countries.

"Thomas Jefferson was a real francophile," said Deborah McGrady, chair of the French department at UVa. "He absolutely loved France, and that is completely expressed at Monticello."

McGrady said the trip is an opportunity for the United States to strengthen the bonds with France.

"It's hugely significant to show to the French president just how important the French are to one of our Founding Fathers and how important to the development of this country," she said.

McGrady, who travels to France often, said it's also an opportunity for the French people to learn more about American history.

"When I'm over there, I'm always surprised by how little is known about Thomas Jefferson," she said. "I find that extraordinary because France was so important to him."

Walking through Monticello, it's hard to miss the French influences, from the architecture to the furniture and the library selection.

"I think it's really quite exciting, that kind of legacy, and to be able to make sure the French remember how important that is," McGrady said.

Given the trip, she said it could translate to a positive experience for everyone.

"I think it makes a real statement, an insistence, on the long history we have of collaboration between the two countries," she said. "Hopefully some good, long-lasting, powerful conversations can take place."

The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. E-mail is required, but will not be displayed with comment.

  • Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. We will not post comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.
  • We will not post comments that use hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our website.
  • Comments should not attack other readers or people featured in our stories personally. Any accusations should be backed up with facts.
  • Any comment we post will be posted in its entirety. We do not edit any comment that we post.
  • Comments should contribute to the discussion. We will not post comments that don't advance the discussion. Flaming and/or trolling will not be tolerated.
  • Comments should not attack other posters. Let's keep the focus on the content of the story.

    As a host Newsplex.com welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However this is a site that we host. We have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.

    If you have any ideas to improve the conversation or this section let us know. Send an e-mail to webmaster@newsplex.com.


powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 243804811