Covid-19 > Message from our president Victor-André Masséna Prince d’Essling

Covid-19 > Message from our president Victor-André Masséna Prince d’Essling
Napoléon législateur, coll. Fondation Napoléon, dépôt au Musée d'Orsay 2017 © Fondation Napoléon / Rebecca Young

During the lockdown, despite the fact that our offices are closed, the Fondation Napoléon team has been hard at “home”-work, if you will. The weekly newsletter has gone out as usual, and we’ve been present on Facebook and Twitter. It’s been the usual business, if not business as usual, and we are pushing on with all our projects as best we can.

We’ve been living our lives to the rhythm of the rest of world, here in France and beyond, affected by the losses and difficulties experienced almost everywhere. As for our own frustrations (thank heavens they’ve not been worse), we are annoyed not to be able to provide a library to visit, talks to listen to at the Cercle d’études, and all the other events in which we would have been involved.

Like you, we were disappointed that the annual 5 May ceremonies were cancelled; but HIH Prince Napoleon’s message, published here a few weeks ago, lifted our spirits.

Here in France, “de-confinement” is only a few days away (if the government predictions hold), and the Fondation Napoléon is going to begin again – very, and I mean, very progressively – with its activities in the offices. Unfortunately, we can’t say that we will be open to the public just yet. Our library will be closed until at least mid-June, and we have been forced to cancel the final talk in the Cercle d’études summer series (which was to have taken place at the end of that month), particularly since the speaker was coming from Italy.

We will soon have some excellent news to share with you on the longer term. I’m talking here about our plans for an exceedingly busy 2021. The Fondation and the Musée de l’Armée [Paris Army Museum] have come together to organise a major exhibition, an international conference, concerts and events of all kinds. And at the same time, other activities have been planned both in Paris and elsewhere, with partners as prestigious as the Archives Nationales [French National Archives], the Bibliothèque Nationale de France [the French National Library, the BnF], the Institut de France, the Mobilier National, the Château de Fontainebleau, Sciences-Po Grenoble, the Institut Catholique de Vendée, etc. So we hope that 2021 will go a long way to help us to forget 2020. We’ll be publishing a complete programme of the 2021 commemorations and other related activities very soon.

In the meantime, as we await with bated breath that great year, and indeed not forgetting already this November, our conference on Napoleon III and the economy (in partnership with the Banque de France), I hope we will all continue to enjoy the best possible health, plenty of fascinating reading, and – as soon as possible – a complete return to our historical delights.

Victor-André Masséna, Prince d’Essling
President of the Fondation Napoléon

[Message sent out in the French “Lettre d’information” dated 8 May 2020 and in the English-language Newsletter of 15 May].