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Yves Coppens

The Scholar, the Fossil, and the Prince From the Lab to Palaces

Yves Coppens is the world renowned discoverer of many famous human fossils, including Lucy. He is a paleontologist, professor at the Muséum national d’histoire naturelle, professor at the Collège de France, member of the French Academy of Science and the French Academy of Medicine.
THE specialist in prehistory was privileged throughout his career to have been invited to meet the greatest heads of state in countries around the world. They all wanted to take a break from their work: what if it were essential for them to focus for a moment on the origins of man?

In this book, Yves Coppens offers the reader more than thirty completely unexpected portraits. French presidents – Pompidou, Giscard d’Estaing, Mitterrand, Chirac, Sarkozy, Hollande – Queen Elizabeth II, Akihito, the emperor of Japan, several kings of Morocco, the king of Ethiopia, the empress of Iran, Nelson Mandela, Popes Benedict XVI and Francis…

Along with Yves Coppens we enter the circle of those who were elected or crowned: into the heart of their palaces, their private homes, or to the end of a Saharan desert over which we travel at breakneck speed in a Jeep. He describes with simplicity and humor the charm of these encounters, but above all how, with his passion, his spirit, and his boldness, he managed to turn those meetings, each one very different, into intimate, human, and timeless moments.