Any ideas re. this one? I asked in the French forum; nearly 70 people had a look at it but no one suggested anything, which has left me terribly depressed ) )... _________ In the play "Don Juan", the statue of a deceased commander appears from time to time to remind the amoral hero, Don Juan, about his duties and responsibilities. It is a forbidding figure and a harbinger of doom. Eventually, the statue takes Don Juan away... See summary here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Juan The expression is sometimes used in French to refer to a widely respected figure (which may embody tradition, respect, duty, etc.), a watchful father-figure. In French politics, one could say that Gen De Gaulle has been "la statue du commandeur" in post-war France. Lionel Jospin, the semi-retired Socialist party leader, would, no doubt, like to be seen as "la statue du commandeur" of the French Left. Mrs Thatcher could play this role for Britain's Conservatives, if she were less old, more active politically, and less of a divisive figure. Can you suggest a generic expression, in English, which could convey this idea? Thanks __________________ James B.