What role do objects play in ceremonies of power?
In every culture, there are objects and symbols that are associated with leadership. The prominence of these arts in investiture ceremonies around the world testifies to their ability to lend legitimacy to new rulers. Those in power, or hungry for it, are rarely unaware of the cultural and historical weight such objects carry. Napoleon took care to surround himself with the recognized signs of sovereignty when he declared himself emperor of France. In a spectacular coronation ceremony at Notre Dame in 1804, he appeared with not only crown and scepter, but also the hand of justice, the necklace of the Légion d’honneur, and the sword of Charlemagne. Any true leader of France would have to have this sword at his investiture, just as any king of the Luba would need a stool at his.