France commemorates the Great War - World War I

By Atout France | Published on February 19, 2014
  • American cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer. Overlooking Omaha Beach, it pays tribute to the American soldiers killed during the Normandy landings by the Allies during the Second World War.

    © Atout France/Franck Charel

    American cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer. Overlooking Omaha Beach, it pays tribute to the American soldiers killed during the Normandy landings by the Allies during the Second World War.

    © Atout France/Franck Charel

  • Visitors in front of the Flame of Memory on the the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, beneath the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

    © Atout France/Franck Charel

    Visitors in front of the Flame of Memory on the the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, beneath the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

    © Atout France/Franck Charel

France commemorates the Great War - World War I

France Commemorates the Great War - World War I

2014 starts the centenary commemorations of one of the most violent and deadly wars history has ever recorded: World War 1. Lasting 4 years, this war saw millions of men from France, Britain, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, America, Russia, India and Senegal engage in daily combat. Claiming more than 9 million lives, the war paved the way for more major political conflicts and was instrumental in shaping the history of the world in the years after 1918.

100 years later, France offers its visitors a chance to relive the events of this war which shaped the world's history. Visitors coming to France can expect artistic depictions in the form of installations and exhibitions including bilateral collaborations, remembrance trails in French regions and new site openings and renovations. Some endeavours include:

  • April 2nd - August 3rd – Jardin du Luxembourg railings- Paris

Fields of Battle – Lands of Peace 1914-1918
The contemporary photographic exhibition by Mike Sheil, on the Jardin du Luxembourg railings, creates a path between the settings of today and the battlefields of the past by simultaneously paying homage to soldiers from over 30 nations and embodying the messages of Peace - building and intergenerational dialogue. 

War Tragedies at the Louvre Museum in Lens (May 28th - October 6th)
An exhibition presenting a rich collection of works inspired by disenchantment with war. One of the main sections will shed new light on representations of the First World War.

  • July 14th - November 11th at Paris Gare de l'Est

Presented at the emblematic Paris Gare de l'Est station, from which the soldiers departed for the front, this collection is unique and consists of photo portraits of WWI survivors at the age of 100 years old, taken between 1996 and 2007. In 2008, after the death of Lazare Ponticelli the last of the WWI French soldiers, Didier Pazery worked on the pictures of the old frontline, and on still-life photos of objects belonging to The Great War Museum in Meaux. This series appears in the exhibition, alongside the portraits of the veterans.

  • September 2014 - February 2015 – Musée des Beaux-Arts, Reims-Champagne

Peace, 1910-1925? Fronts and wings of Franco-German art
This exhibition brings together the work of German and French artists on a selection of topics illustrating the consequences of the Great War on the lives of men and women.

  • Tour de France (July)

The 2014 edition of the Tour de France will pay homage to the memory of the fallen soldiers of the Great War by including on the route many sites where the war was fought. The Tour de France will go through Flanders, Artois, Aisne, Champagne, Verdun and the Vosges mountains. Lille, Arras, Reims, Epernay, Nancy and Mulhouse will all host various stages.

  • Musée de la Grande Guerre du Pays de Meaux, Musée de l’Armée (French Army Museum) and the Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace ( Aerospace Museum)

Visitors can also include in their agenda new sites and renovations of several venues dating back to the Great War. In Paris, 3 museums will pay homage to the war in their own distinctive styles - the Musée de la Grande Guerre du Pays de Meaux, Musée de l’Armée (French Army Museum) and the Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace ( Aerospace Museum).

 

Interested visitors can also embark on remembrance trails tracing the footsteps of the war in regions such as Northern France, Champagne-Ardenne, Picardy, Lorraine and Alsace.