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"Reconstruction in Picardy, after 1918"
2000-09-16 until 2001-01-15
Musee National de la Cooperation Franco-Americaine
Blerancourt (Aisne), , FR France

Once the ruins had been cleared away and the trenches filled in, the entire region had to be rebuilt: towns and villages, roads and railways, economic infrastructure and social fabric. Faced with the gigantic reconstruction program ahead, issues which had been in the air since 1917 came to a head in the discussions held after the war.

9 September 1918 A second kind of desert has just appeared on the face of the planet, in the Somme. (Albert Londres, Le Petit Journal, 10 September 1918).

The state, whose main aim up until 1918 had been to recover invaded territory, now had to invest in developing it. Specific administrative and legal structures were needed to encourage new initiatives in town planning and get the economy moving again. The reconstruction work attracted a crowd of merchants, entrepreneurs, architects - qualified or otherwise - and even speculators and swindlers, all eager to be in on the adventure in this vast experimental field.

Reconstruction in Picardy after 1918 is a set of five exhibitions which tackle different aspects of the first reconstruction period. They are held in five different sites and draw on the collections of museums and archives.


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