2021 Année Napoléon – The Death of Napoleon

from 21/09/2021 to 23/09/2021
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The Musée de l’Armée and the Fondation Napoléon are organising a symposium from 21 to 23 September 2021 on the theme of the death of Napoleon I, as part of the “2021 Année Napoléon” label.
This symposium will take place at the Fondation Napoléon, Espace Gourgaud, over three afternoons, in compliance with health measures. (“Pass sanitaire” and mask required. More information for foreign nationals about covid-19 measures in France here in English).

Please note that only 25 places will be available to attend the conference.

Registration for each half-day of the conference BEGINNING 14 SEPTEMBER 2021 by email or by phone at +33 (0) 1 56 43 46 00.

Updated: 2 September 2021

The proceedings of this symposium – The most powerful breath of life…” The death of Napoleon (1821-2021) (in French) – are already available from CNRS Éditions.

2021 Année Napoléon – The Death of Napoleon
Napoléon sur son lit de mort


Tuesday 21 September 2021

2pm: Doors open

2.30pm: Start of proceedings and welcome address


First session: 5 May 1821.”The mightiest breath of life that ever animated human clay

2.40pm: A man’s death, by Pierre Branda, head of the Heritage Department of the Fondation Napoléon

3.05pm: The sovereign and death: the rituals of “a good death”, by Patrice Gueniffey, director of studies at the EHESS

3.30pm: To the end of infinity: a Christian death, by Marie Courtemanche, historian

3.55pm: Break

4.15pm: The death of a prisoner (from the point of view of the British), by Peter Hicks, international affairs Manager at the Fondation Napoléon

4.40pm: A paper death: the rumours surrounding St Helena in 1821, by Charles-Eloi Vial, curator at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Department of Manuscripts

5.05pm: Critical analysis of Napoleon Bonaparte’s autopsy reports, by Dr Alain Goldcher, graduate of the Paris Faculty of Medicine and the Académie Nationale de Médecine

5.30pm: What archaeology and forensic anthropology can contribute to our understanding of Napoleon’s illness and death, by Dr Philippe Charlier, Director of the Research and Teaching Department at the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac

5.55pm: End of the first half-day session


Wednesday 22nd September 2021

2pm: Doors open

2.30pm: Start of the session and welcome address


Second session: “Him, him everywhere…

2.40pm: A face for eternity: Napoleon’s death mask, by Isabelle Tamisier-Vétois, chief curator at the Musée des Châteaux de Malmaison et de Bois-Préau

3.05pm: Cantillon, the mystery stranger in Napoleon’s will, by Chantal Prévot, head of the libraries of the Fondation Napoléon

3.30pm: Napoleon’s death as seen by Chateaubriand, by Bernard Degout, director of the Maison de Chateaubriand

3.55pm: Break

4.15pm: Sovereign or hero: Napoleon’s two tombs 1840-1861, by Sylvie Le Ray-Burimi, chief curator of heritage, Département Beaux-Arts et Patrimoine, Musée de l’Armée

4:40pm: Napoleon the immortal. Apotheoses, death, transfiguration, by Emilie Robbe, Conservateur du Patrimoine, Musée de l’Armée

5:05pm: End of the second half-day session


Thursday 23rd September 2021

2pm: Doors open

2.30 pm: Start of the session and welcoming adress


Third session: “On the banks of the Seine…

2.40pm: Returning to the body: exhuming great men, by Léa Charliquart, curator of the exhibition “Napoléon n’est plus” [Napoleon is no more]

3.05pm: Napoleon at Les Invalides: endless tomb, definitive tomb? by François Lagrange, chef du Service de la Recherche, de la Valorisation et de la Diffusion du Musée de l’Armée

3.30pm: the “Retour des Cendres” [The return of the mortal remains]: Louis-Philippe’s Napoleonic challenge, by Hervé Robert, magistrate, lecturer at the Institut d’études politiques de Paris

3.55 pm: Break

4.15pm: The visitors of the Tomb, by Jacques-Olivier Boudon, professor at the Arts Department of the Sorbonne, president of the Institut Napoléon

4.40pm: Farewell to tears. The memory of the 5 May between sedition and commemoration, from the July Monarchy to the Second Empire, by Juliette Glikman, PhD and professor of history, associate researcher at the Sorbonne

5.05pm: The Centenary of Napoleon’s death in 1921 : between homage and political act, by Alexis Halperin, law and history student

5.30pm: End of the third half-day and end of the conference


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