Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Napoleon at St Helena: Exhibition in Paris

Exhibition at Musée de l'Armée - Invalides

During my last visit to St. Helena in early 2013 much of the Longwood furniture, including the famous bath and billiard table, was crated and despatched to France, for restoration and then exhibition.

The dates of that exhibition have now been confirmed. It opens in early April at the Musée de l'Armée and runs until July. It will provide an opportunity for Parisians and those from further afield to learn a little more about Napoleon's captivity on St Helena.

I have already made my plans to visit, and look forward to seeing the restored furniture in a totally different environment. Coinciding as it does with the opening of the airport (fingers crossed!), the exhibition will hopefully provide a boost to tourism on St. Helena.

On that note I have also learned that the island council has thankfully turned down the proposal to locate a water tank at the gates of Longwood house. A very sensible decision.


Hels said...

Interesting that the decision was made to mount the exhibition in a national military museum. Les Invalides would have been suitable for objects of soldering, war etc but all the Longwood objects are domestic furniture.

I know this is a tiny example, but I really do love The Briars, the Balcombe homestead near Melbourne built in 1842. Napoleon's furniture is combined with paintings, decorative arts and books, in a domestic setting.

John Tyrrell said...

It is also the museum in which Napoleon's body rests. I can't think of a suitable alternative place in Paris, and don't know whether anywhere else was considered. Malmaison is very much involved with the Fondation Napoleon and with this whole project, but I don't think it would have been a suitable alternative.

Incidentally my report may be a trifle misleading - there will be items at the exhibition from museums other than Logwood.