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Memoria e Ricerca

Great War Memory in France: Mourning or Museums?

di Jean-Jacques Becker
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 7 (2001), p. 39

Reflecting upon the memory of the Great War in France between the two wars, this article shows how the constitution of historical museums was impaired by the construction of sites of memory (above all the monuments to the fallen), which absorbed the entire commemorative effort. The related histories of the Musée de la Grande Guerre and of the annexed Bibliothèque de documentation internationale contemporaine highlight the tentative and accidental path suffered by the representation of the conflict in French museums. An enduring hesitation, which has been overcome only very recently with the inauguration of the Memorial de Verdun (1967) and the Historial de la Grande Guerre de Péronne (1992).