The statue, which shows the image of Marianne crying for help for Serbia, invited the Serbs to thank France. The gratitude came to them after the difficult years that Serbia experienced during and after World War I. The French helped the war, along with the Serbs, against the Austro-Hungarian Empire. During the Battle of Belgrade in 1915, many French soldiers and soldiers of both nations fought side by side in heavy battles on the front of Salonika.
At the end of World War I, the love between the peoples grew even stronger. This happened when it became clear that nearly a quarter of Serbia's population was killed in the war, over a million people out of a population of 4.6 million before the war. France then offered to absorb many orphans whose parents had been killed.
And so, after the war, King Peter I, who was already king of Yugoslavia, pushed for the establishment of a monument to commemorate the Serbian appreciation and friendship they felt toward the French.
The reliefs on the base of the statue depict the groups of soldiers who are partners in the war, the Serbian and the French. On the other side a mother nursing her children, a symbol of France who helped her Serbian children.
It writes: "To France. We love France as it loved us in 1914-1918."
It is an allegorical, imaginative female figure created to represent the new values of free France, the ones after the French Revolution. The rebels loved the idea of a woman as a refreshing antithesis to the masculine rule of the privileged and nobles before the revolution. Marianne was the realization of the hope for a new future, in the spirit of the saying of "liberty, equality, fraternity" or in the original language "Liberté, égalité, fraternité!"
From the revolution to the present, many of the French view it as a symbol of freedom and reason. To this day she appears in many works of art, stamps and posters in France.