Jules Gérard, the son of a tax collector, was born in Pignans, Var (83). He went on to be a lion killer, which in the early nineteenth century was obviously not seen in a bad light, although by the way the plaque on his statue in La Place des Écoles is worded it seems to be more than a little tongue in cheek: the representation of Gérard, too, could almost be inspired by Don Quixote or Don Quichotte in French. Certainly Alphonse Daudet's ludicrous Tartaron de Tarascon was inspired by Jules Gérard, from which Daudet managed to stretch to three books: Les Aventures prodigieuses de Tartarin de Tarascon (1872), Tartarin sur les Alpes (1885) and Port-Tarascon (1890). Gérard himself wrote a book called Le Tueur de lions (1855). He died in 1864 by drowning in a river in...Sierra Leone!
Jules Gérard was born in what is now the Mairie, as this plaque at the side states.
'Le 12 Septembre 1964 la Ville de Pignans et le Comité des amis de Jules Gérard ont auguré solennellement ce monument[,] œuvre du sculpteur Olivier-Ducamp[,] érigé par souscription publique à la gloire du plus illustre des enfants de Pignans'.
(My translation): 'On 12 September 1964 the Town of Pignans and the Committee of the Friends of Jules Gérard solemnly unveiled this monument, a work by the sculptor Olivier-Ducamp, erected by public subscription to the glory of the most illustrious of Pignans' sons'. Umm.