Lesseps, Ferdinand Marie, Vicomte de

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Lesseps, Ferdinand Marie, Vicomte de (1805–94) French diplomat and engineer. He conceived the idea of a canal through the isthmus of Suez, linking the Red Sea with the Mediterranean. He formed the Suez Canal Company, securing finance from the French government. Digging began in 1859, and the canal opened in November 1869. His scheme to construct the Panama Canal without using a system of locks began in 1879, but was abandoned seven years later with the failure of De Lesseps' company.

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Ferdinand Marie vicomte de Lesseps

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