Generations of children — and with them generations of adults — have fallen under the spell of Antoine de Saint Exupéry’s The Little Prince since its 1943 publication.  With translations in more than 550 languages and dialects to date, it is the most translated book of literature of all time.

Less well known than Saint Exupéry’s whimsical traveler is the fact that he conjured him into existence in New York City and in Northport, Long Island.  While dozens of plaques and statues around the world commemorate the novelist, there is no such monument in Manhattan, a city Saint Exupéry left weeks before publication.  He sailed to North Africa with one advance copy of the fable in his bag; fifteen months later, he disappeared at the controls of a Lockheed P-38 Lightning in the course of a reconnaissance mission over occupied France during World War II for theMediterranean Allied Air Forces under the command of American General Ira C. Eaker.


On 20 September, Catherine Colonna, the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and Olivier d’Agay, grand-nephew of Antoine de Saint Exupéry, unveiled the bronze sculpture of the Little Prince at the entrance to the garden of the Villa Albertine, the French bookshop and headquarters of the cultural services of the French Embassy in the United States, located at 972 Fifth Avenue.

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The American Society of Le Souvenir Français, Inc., a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization, will soon ensure that The Little Prince is properly remembered in his native city. As the Society’s mission is to honor exemplary Frenchmen in the United States,it has selected renowned French sculptor Jean-Marc de Pas to create a bronze sculpture of The Little Prince, and has received the constant and active support of the Antoine de Saint Exupéry Youth Foundation throughout the project. Plans have been approved to install the sculpture at the garden entrance of Villa Albertine, on Fifth Avenue at 78th Street, with the support of the French Embassy in the United States, in conjunction with celebrations of The Little Prince’s 80th anniversary.

The Steering Committee for the sculpture is composed of Thierry Chaunu, Jean-Hugues Monier, Francis Dubois, respectively President and Board Members of the American Society of Le Souvenir Français, Inc., and Nicolas Delsalle-Mun, Delegate General of the Antoine de Saint Exupéry Youth Foundation.

The 1m20 sculpture was sculpted in clay and cast in bronze in a single piece in the sculptor’s studio in Normandy, France. The Little Prince has been installed in the garden of the historic Payne Whitney Mansion, facing passers-by on Fifth Avenue. A Gilded Age architectural masterpiece built by Stanford White between 1902 and 1906, the building was acquired by France in the 1950s and now serves as the New York headquarters of the Villa Albertine.

“This statue is amazingly successful with a Little Prince who is both innocent and clever,” explains Olivier d’Agay, grand-nephew of Antoine de Saint Exupéry in Ouest France, “The Little Prince is an ambassador of hope, culture, childhood, protection of the planet.”

The Honorary Committeeis co-presided by Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of a biography on Antoine de Saint Exupéry, and Olivier d’Agay, great-nephew of Antoine de Saint Exupéry and Secretary General of the Antoine de Saint Exupéry Youth Foundation.

As an official partner of this project, Air France transported this sculpture of The Little Prince from Paris to New York. The inauguration is planned for September 2023 under the high patronage ofEmmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic.

We are all very proud that The Little Prince will now have a fitting presence in the city of his birth. This loving sculpture will undoubtedly delight New Yorkers and tourists of all origins, who will be able to sit next to him and gaze with him towards the stars.

Some eighty years later, “Le Petit Prince”  stands tall as a universal symbol of peace, wisdom, and care for our planet…” says Thierry Chaunu, president of the American Society of Le Souvenir Français, Inc.

… “New York is a city known for its diversity, its mix of different cultures. The Little Prince is a tale that celebrates the importance of such diversity and mutual understanding, which reminds us that as human we are all connected, even if we come from different backgrounds. This statue is a symbol of Franco-American friendship, of France’s contribution to the universal values of the Little Prince. It will be an invitation for people walking on 5th Avenue to sit by the Little Prince side, especially New York children”adds Jean-Hugues Monier, Board Member of the American Society of Le Souvenir Français, Inc. and member of the sculpture’s Steering Committee.