Editorial, 19 June 2020 > We’ve got good news, and we’re going to share it!

Author(s) : LENTZ Thierry
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It’s true there’s not much to be cheery about these days. But since the news is good, we’re not going to hold back.

Everyone is “full steam ahead” for 2021. So here’s a foretaste of the delights to come.

This week, we had a big meeting in our offices here (with real people, in a room, with no video conference involved!) bringing together the partners in the large variety of events planned for the Bicentenary Year of the Emperor’s Death. We unveiled the partner logo (a French version of the words «2021 – Napoleon Year»), and we coordinated and fine-tuned the different projects. Those present included representatives from: the French army museum (the Musée de l’Armée); the French national archives (the Archives Nationales); the French national library (the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, BnF); the prestigious French academic institution, the Institut de France; the archival service of the French army (the Service Historique de la Défense, SHD); the French national furniture depot (the Mobilier national); the Château de Malmaison; the world-famous jewellers, the Maison Chaumet; the umbrella organisation for Napoleonic cities, the “Villes Impériales” (Imperial cities); the private Breton university, the Institut Catholique de Vendée; the Napoleonic library and archive, the Fondation Dosne-Thiers – not including those who unable to be present.

Editorial, 19 June 2020 > We’ve got good news, and we’re going to share it!

So, what’s going down?

In 2021, there will be exhibitions, concerts, conference, talks, and general-public events of literally all shapes and sizes.

The “Big Year” opens with two exceptional concerts entitled “The Triumph of Napoleon” held at the cathedral of Saint-Louis des Invalides, a Fondation Napoléon and Musée de l’Armée partnership. The latter institution is also putting the boat out with a year-long series of events including: an exhibition on Napoleon’s death (31 March-19 September), a program of concerts, an academic conference (7, 8 and 9 April), talks, contemporary art exhibitions, and a writers’ workshop, etc.

Other exhibitions are planned. In March, the Archives Nationales will be exhibiting the results of their campaign to restore the drawings, maps and plans made for Napoleon (financed by our international appeal). In the autumn, the Mobilier National will be presenting Napoleon’s “lost palaces”. The Maison Chaumet is to turn its attention to Josephine. Malmaison will be highlighting its St Helena collection. The Château de Fontainebleau will be following Malmaison’s lead with its similarly magnificent collection of St Helena memorabilia. And the SHD is to show little-known aspects of the Napoleonic campaigns. There is also talk of a huge “general public” exhibition on Napoleon in the large venue in Paris that two years ago held a very large exhibition on the treasures of Tutankhamun. There are to be conferences and study days at the university institution, SciencePo Grenoble, in the Seine-et-Marne département, at the BnF, at the Fondation Dosne-Thiers, at the Institut Catholique de Vendée, and in many other places besides. Lastly, the Paris conference centre, the Palais des Congrès, will echo to sound of Napoleonic slam and rap(!), organised by the creator of the mega productions, the Dix commandements and the Roi-Soleil, and throughout France, major venues will host the symphonic version of Serge Lama’s musical Napoléon. The end of the year (September 2021) will be lit up by exceptionally spectacular “Journées impériales” (Empire Days) in Rueil-Malmaison.

In September 2020, we will be placing full details for all of these events (times, places, how to sign up, etc.) on our institutional website, fondationnapoleon.org. So, faithful newsletter readers, don’t forget to have your diary ready when we come back after the summer.

We’re telling it to you straight. 2021 will be “Napoleon Year”!

Thierry Lentz
Directeur de la Fondation Napoléon

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