The bright flowers caught my attention. Then, after closer inspection, I was struck by the contrast between the stern bust of Ernest Russelle* at the top of the pedestal and the melodramatic pose of the forsaken youth at his nonexistent feet. In 1901 would the sight of the shoeless, morally abandoned child have caused a passerby to change her ways?
The pedestal reads:
A / ERNEST / ROUSSELLE / PRESIDENT / DU CONSEIL MUNICIPAL / DE PARIS / DU CONSEIL GENERAL / DE LA SEINE / DE LA COMMISSION / DES ENFANTS ASSISTES / MORALEMENT ABANDONNES/ 1836-1896; ABANDONNE! (beside the shoeless child)
*You can see the upper part of the monument and read about the sculptor, etc. here.