A mass in memory of Bernard Tapie brought together many politicians, sportsmen and artists, at the church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris, this Wednesday morning. The funeral of the businessman, who died Sunday at the age of 78, will be celebrated in Marseille on Friday.
From Bernard Hinault to Basile Boli, from Line Renaud to Claude Lelouch, many personalities gathered this Wednesday, October 6 in Paris around the family of Bernard Tapie, for a first religious ceremony in memory of the deceased. The coffin of Bernard Tapie – who had been successively entrepreneur, singer, president of the Olympique de Marseille, minister, actor and press boss – entered the church to applause.
Mass, in the presence of the First Lady Brigitte Macron, was held in the former Benedictine abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Près (6th arrondissement), almost a month after the ceremony in tribute to the actor Jean -Paul Belmondo between these walls.
OM scarf in hand, supporters greeted the athletes who had come to pay tribute to the former club boss, who died Sunday at the age of 78 at his home in Paris from cancer: the former striker Jean-Pierre Papin, golden ball with OM, football coach Rolland Courbis and Basile Boli, scorer of a victory goal in 1993 against AC Milan in the Champions League final, greeted by applause. We also noticed Bernard Hinault, former cyclist of the La Vie Claire team, owned by Bernard Tapie between 1984 and 1991.
The director Claude Lelouch who had made Bernard Tapie turn in 1996 in “Men, Women, manual”, was present, alongside the actor Pierre Arditi, the actress and singer Line Renaud, the writer André Bercoff and singer-songwriter Didier Barbelivien.
Host Michel Drucker, essayist Alain Minc, managing director of BFM TV Marc-Olivier-Fogiel, the publicist Jacques Séguéla, or the businessman Xaviel Niel had come running. Among the 300 guests were former President Nicolas Sarkozy, Jean-Michel Baylet, CEO of Groupe Dépêche du Midi, ex-ministers Bernard Kouchner, Rachida Dati, Christophe Castaner, and Jean-Louis Borloo, friend and former lawyer of the deceased.
“A figure in business and politics in France”
Many police officers surrounded the square of the church, where 250 people gathered. “Ah, it’s for Nanard,” exclaimed a man passing by. “I came to greet the sportsman and the man who brought a lot to French football”, testified Hugues Modestin, 54 years old. “I am from the West Indies and the fact that he gave a chance, at OM, to players like Jocelyn Angloma from Guadeloupe, was important to me.” Jean-Claude, 68-year-old retiree from Val-de-Marne, praised “a figure in France of business and politics”. “He did some good things, others bad, we must remember the whole”, added his wife, Françoise, 77 years old.
This ceremony was held on the day when the Paris Court of Appeal should have rendered its decision in the controversial 2008 arbitration case between Bernard Tapie and Crédit Lyonnais. Because of his death, the court “noted the extinction of the public action” against him, after the release pronounced by the criminal court in 2019. But it will render its decision on November 24 concerning the five other defendants, including Orange boss Stéphane Richard.
A fiery chapel will be erected Thursday in Marseille, where Bernard Tapie is to be buried on Friday.