The Keys to Understanding the Museum
> The Front and the Rear
Weapons and military equipment are displayed in the centre of the galleries; placed on the ground, in pits, they pay testimony to the common suffering of the soldiers. The lives of the civilians, each and everyone ‘mobilised’ by war, are studied in the wall cabinets, divided into three sections and respectively dedicated to Germany, France and Great Britain.
> A Compared Vision
On the walls surrounding the galleries, glass cabinets divided into three levels, respectively dedicated to Germany, France and Great Britain, confront and highlight the attitudes and mindset of the different countries at war.
The central part of each gallery pays testimony to life at the front, that which concerned every population at war the most. Soldiers of various nationalities are represented by mannequins dressed in their uniforms with their weapons and personal effects by their sides. These bodies, lying in white marble pits cut out of the museum’s floor, symbolise the entire territory of the Somme riddled by trenches, and the common suffering of the men at war.
> The Museum Scenography
The scenography is as contemporary as the architecture and fosters comprehension and emotion by placing the visitor in close proximity to the artefact, making them feel closer to the actual event. Lastly, and this is what makes the Historial a truly international museum of compared history, these artefacts arise from the three belligerent empires. The display, articulated around man, enables comparisons to be made between the different populations at war, while also clearly identifying the world of the rear from that of the front.
> A Choice of Visit
Notices in four languages, film monitors, sound archives, and touch screen tables and tablets are just some of the many installations available to visitors to enable them to gain an even greater comprehension of the museum’s display and collections.
Museum display : Adeline Rispal / Jean-Jacques Raynaud / Louis Tournoux