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  • The coronation of Napoleon as Emperor of the French, which took place on Sunday December 2, 1804, at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, has been said to mark "the instantiation of modern empire", representing a "transparently masterminded piece of modern propaganda". On May 18, 1804, the Sénat conservateur vested the Republican government in an Emperor, and preparations for a coronation followed. Napoleon's elevation to Emperor was overwhelmingly approved by the French citizens in a referendum. Among Napoleon's motivations for being crowned were to gain prestige in international royalist and Catholic milieux and to lay the foundation for a future dynasty. In the classical French tradition, kings underwent a ceremony of consecration rather than a coronation; in consecration, anointment was conferred by the archbishop of Reims in Notre-Dame de Reims. Napoleon blended Roman imperial pageantry with the purported memory of Charlemagne. The coronation was held in Paris in the presence of Pope Pius VII. According to government tallies, the entire cost was over 8.5 million francs.