August 3, 2021

The project of museum of the history of France and Algeria is relaunched

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This is one of the twenty-two recommendations of the report by historian Benjamin Stora on Franco-Algerian reconciliation, submitted in January to Emmanuel Macron: reactivate the project for a museum of the history of France and Algeria. , scuttled in 2014.

« It is a major stake, insists today this specialist in decolonization. There is a need to show, to demonstrate, to circulate all these injured memories, to look at each other in a mirror. His wish will undoubtedly not go unheeded. According to our information, the site has just been relaunched by the Elysée and the metropolis of Montpellier (Hérault), where feasibility studies were launched in June.

Read also France-Algeria: the 22 recommendations of the Stora report

« Few cases move so quickly », Welcomes Michael Delafosse, mayor PS of the city who, on February 10, during an interview with the President of the Republic, had positioned himself to welcome the museum. ” Emmanuel Macron pushes the subject, confirms Benjamin Stora. He is proactive on the issue like no other president has been before him. »

The story goes back to 2002, when Georges Frêche, president of the Montpellier agglomeration community, decided to create a museum of the history of France in Algeria. The name desired by the Pieds-Noirs ruffles other communities. It will be rectified in 2010 by his successor, Jean-Pierre Moure, who, to embrace all memories, renamed it “museum of the history of France and Algeria”.

Define the subject

A scientific committee made up of renowned historians is set up, a designated curator, and some 20 million euros released to renovate the Montcalm hotel, which was to host it, as well as for the purchase of works. To demine the subject, flammable if there is one, Florence Hudowicz, curator of the collection, recommends temporary exhibitions. ” We wanted to start in 2018 with an exhibition on France and Algeria during the war of 14-18 », Recalls Benjamin Stora, already very involved in the scientific council.

Patatras, barely elected mayor, the dissident socialist Philippe Saurel buried the project in 2014, preferring to create, instead, a contemporary art center, the Mo. Co. Was he afraid of being under the crossfire? -blacks and the Algerian community of the city? The members of the scientific council cry out for financial and intellectual waste and launch a petition. In vain.

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