Let Mélanie take you to Australia
Mélanie, how was the Franco-Australian museum created?
Soon after the end of the war a team from the Australian War Graves commission based itself in Villers-Bretonneux. The town was in ruins and Australian and French people worked together to rebuild it. They began with the Victoria School which was used to house the museum when it opened in 1975. Links between the people of Villers-Bretonneux and Australia are strong and enduring. The collections were gradually built up over time, with many items acquired as gifts.
What is in the collections?
They depict events in the Great War, of course, and the role played by Australian troops but the museum also has a very human side. There are personal objects, like letters and photographs, that belonged to soldiers and many moving accounts which bear witness to the friendship between France and Australia.
The museum has been renovated recently, I believe?
Yes. It was totally renovated in 2016. On the 1st floor of Victoria school, halfway through the tour, a moving Remembrance space has been created below a glass roof. 'Do not forget Australia' is inscribed here, as it is on the school's covered playground. The displays are divided into four sections, each dedicated to a Remembrance theme: the place, the war, the men and the town.
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