A museum for peace
The opposite of peace, it is not war, it is violence affirms Jacques Belin, who is the director general of the large museum of the Second World War at Caen.
What we want is to convince each visitor, and beyond the visitors, everyone, that the peace of the world is in his hands and the responsibilities of these conflicts, it is certainly a collective responsibility, but that the collective responsibility is the addition of the individual behaviours.
Located in the heart of Normandy, Caen is the high point of the Normandy landings. To recall the memories or to discover and understand the importance of this event of the summer of 1944, it is essential to visit the memorial, as monsieur Berlin explains it to us.
The memorial of Caen is a large modern museum which wants to attract the attention of all on the fragility of peace, the liberties and rights of man.
It acts as an exhibition space.
In the memorial such as it is today, we have normally of cause objects, but we also have many films, many posters and many photographs.
And in this space, an effort is made to relive as much as possible these past events.
We think that to interest the general public and in particular the young with the history and the philosophic reflection, it is necessary to have a very very strong scenographic production.
We present a film of the landings, which has been essentially made up from film archive images that are projected on to two managed screens, where the visitor is at the centre of the action. The visitor can live these events from two sides at once.
Moreover, an extension of the museum is being built. Indeed, a museum for peace must show the horrors of war and also study the conditions of peace in the world. It is a curious manner to strengthen the role of the museum. It is still a place of memory and with, moreover, a function of anticipation for the future.
The new building will permit visitors to understand not only the 20th. century but also to reflect well on what are the stakes at the start of the 21st. century.
If you are not sure of your French, do not be worried, all is envisaged.
So it is an international site and today only 65% of the visitors are French, therefore 35% of the visitors are foreign and everything is done in German, English and French, all should be understandable.
And that is not all, the film stages and teaching facilities are also available throughout the year. These stages are designed for teachers of history, journalists, photo archivists and scientists.
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