In the columns of Paris Match, Alexandra Cousteau returns a hint on the long legal battle with which she faced the death of her grandfather Jacques-Yves Cousteau, in particular to perpetuate her heritage and restore the letters of nobility to her. boat, the Calypso.
From his grandfather, Alexandra Cousteau don’t just keep the name. Her title of “granddaughter of” translates today into her passion for the oceans, nurtured for years by the commander Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who made the sea her home, a passion passed on to her granddaughter upon the death of her father, Philippe, “favorite son” of the commander who died in 1979. So to perpetuate the legacy of his grandfather, this “in love with the ocean” founded the OCEANS 2050 initiative, a mission to restore marine life, and after his death in 1997 had set himself the task of saving the Calypso, which was wrecked in 1996. To no avail.
Indeed, upon the death of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Alexandra Cousteau, his uncle Jean-Michel and the family come up against Francine Cousteau, née Triplet, the widow of the commander. “For a while I tried to save the ‘Calypso’ … Very complicated case, filled with legal battles that I do not want to return to, so as not to have to face a trial“, confides the mother of 45 years in the columns of Paris Match, on newsstands Thursday, May 20. After having spent some time afloat in the autonomous port of Marseille, La Calypso had been towed to the trawler basin of the Maritime Museum of La Rochelle on June 7, 1998, where a La Rochelle shipyard had started a restoration. But the disputes between Francine Cousteau and Jean-Michel Cousteau over the legacy of the captain had resulted in a long series of legal actions had concluded in a stoppage of work and the placing of the boat under tarpaulin, which suffered a fire in 2017.
Alexandra Cousteau “marked” by “a deep sadness”
“Marked” by the long legal battles that marked his family, Alexandra Cousteau confides having in her “deep sadness” left by these “lost years”, while today, “introduce the famous red cap on one of his images” could “have legal consequences”. However, the granddaughter of Jacques-Yves Cousteau keeps an inheritance much greater than his property and his image. “I had learned wonder from my grandfather. […] After her death, nobody addressed me like “Alexandra”, I was the “granddaughter of” … I was 20 years old, I was proud to be a Cousteau, but I didn’t like it not just being reduced to that “, she explains, acknowledging today that her “own contribution is recognized as such”.
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