Paris army museum adds WWII galleries

PARIS -- New national galleries devoted to World War II were scheduled to open to the public on July 1 at the Museum of the French Army here.

"This is the first large, national museum in Paris with something very detailed about the different aspects of the Second World War in France -- the Free French and the collaborationist Vichy regime," a Paris Convention & Visitors Bureau spokesman said.

He said the new galleries were designed to complement educational presentations and be accessible to children and young adults "who don't know the story of France during World War II, as well as older adults."

The permanent, multimedia-enhanced exhibits occupy three levels and about 21,500 square feet within central Paris' Invalides, a former military hospital that now houses the army museum plus one of Paris' most recognizable domes, Eglise de Dome, site of Napoleon's tomb.

Although the older part of the army museum only provides information on exhibits in French, written elements of the new World War II galleries are translated into English and Spanish.

The army museum opened in 1905 and is visited by approximately 1 million visitors annually, 75% of whom are foreigners.

Most of the museum's foreign visitors are from the U.S., a spokesman said.

French Government Tourist Office
Phone: (212) 745-0956 or (212) 745-0957

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