Present generations who have seen so many things happen, so many statues crumble and so many pedestals overthrown do not quite know what meaning to give to this very vague designation, and would be embarrassed to tell for what monument the mysterious stone which the Executive Council of the Revolution laconically calls the "pied d'estal" served as a base.
The scaffold was not, as is generally believed, erected in the very centre of the Place, on the spot where the obelisk now stands, but on a spot which the decree of the Provisional Executive Council designates in these precise terms: "between the pied d'estal and the Champs-Elysees." What was this pedestal?
It required thirty centuries for the great Desert to engulf half of it; how many years will the Place de la Revolution require to swallow it up altogether? In the Year II of the Republic, what the Executive Council called the "pied d'estal" was nought but a shapeless and hideous block. It was a sort of sinister symbol of the royalty itself.