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Franco-Australian Museum official reopening

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Exterior of the Franco-Australian Museum

The renovated Franco-Australian Museum, Villers-Bretonneux.

Interior of the Franco-Australian Museum

The museum’s updated gallery spaces.

In April this year, the Franco-Australian Museum at Villers-Bretonneux, France, will be officially reopened following a major refurbishment and upgrade undertaken as a jointly funded project between the Australian Government, the Museum, the town council and regional authorities.

As part of its development of the Australian Remembrance Trail along the Western Front, the Australian Government committed more than $2 million to upgrade the museum space. The upgrade has involved significant structural works as well as working closely with project partners to ensure accurate and appropriate representation of the achievements and sacrifices of Australians who served on the Western Front.

The Museum is located in the Victoria School, which bears the famous slogan ‘never forget Australia’ as a reminder of Australia’s contribution to the First World War, and to the money raised in Australia to rebuild the school in the years after the war. It houses a rich collection of objects and memorabilia recalling Villers-Bretonneux’s wartime experience and the close bond formed with the Australians who served here, and those who have visited since.

Some 99 years ago on 24–25 April 1918, two Australian brigades under brigadier-generals William Glasgow and Harold ‘Pompey’ Elliott helped recapture Villers-Bretonneux, playing a pivotal role in preventing the Germans capturing the transport hub city of Amiens.

Together, the Franco-Australian Museum, the nearby Australian National Memorial and the Adelaide Cemetery provide a rich experience that enhances visitors’ understanding of Australia’s First World War service on the Western Front. They are easily accessible as a day trip from Paris by car.

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