Indepth Arts News: |
"Reconstruction in Picardy, after 1918"
2000-09-16 until 2001-01-15
Musee National de la Cooperation Franco-Americaine
Blerancourt (Aisne), ,
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