2021 Année Napoléon > Musées de Sens (Museums of the town of Sens)

The Sens museums are opening a room dedicated to their Napoleonic collection in 2021, to mark the bicentenary of the death of Napoleon I.

Update 6 April 2021.

website of the Museums of the town of Sens

Inauguration > New room dedicated to the Napoleonic collection of the Sens Museums
5 May 2021

The Museums of Sens have a collection of Napoleonic memorabilia including two major pieces: Napoleon’s hat worn at Waterloo and his Chasseur Colonel Uniform worn at St Helena (pictured above). These two pieces have often been lent for prestigious exhibitions and have been restored in partnership with the Fondation Napoléon. They were on display until 2015, but depsite being much in demand by visitors, they have not been able to benefit from sufficient conservation standards to be re-exhibited in an optimal manner. The bicentenary of Napoleon’s death is an opportunity to set up a specific room dedicated to this collection.

→ Night opening until 11pm.
→ Launch of a special escape game.

Flash tour
Monday 10 May 2021, 12h30-13h30

Talk> “At Napoleon’s bedside on St Helena: Ali and Marchand”
19 mai 2021, 18h30
Talk by Alain Cattagni, president of the Société des Sciences Historiques et Naturelles in the Yonne region of France.

Nuit des Musées > “A trip to St Helena with Ali”, themed tours
15 May 2021

The town of Sens and the Tourist Office will organise special events in connection with the bicentenary of the death of Napoleon (dramatised visits, cooking competitions, equestrian demonstrations, etc.). Programme to follow.

Talk> “Napoleon at St Helena”
20 October 2021 –  6.30pm

« Napoléon à Sainte-Hélène », (in French) by Alain Cattagni, president of the Société des Sciences Historiques et Naturelles de l’Yonne.


List of partners of “2021 Année Napoléon”.

Calendar of Events.

Follow the special Instagram account for “2021 Année Napoléon” events.

Follow the Fondation Napoléon’s Facebook page in English.

Follow the Fondation Napoléon on Twitter.

Consult the page of the partner publishers and their published or republished works
on the occasion of the bicentenary of Napoleon’s death.

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The Napoleonic collection was built up around two bequests, the most important of which was that of Louis-Etienne Saint-Denis, known as the Mamluk Ali, who followed Napoleon into exile on St Helena. In 1827, Saint-Denis moved to Sens, where he remained until his death in 1856 (his grave is in the Sens cemetery). The objects brought back are thus in the category of napoleonic “relics”, bearing witness both to life in exile and to the construction of the “Napoleon legend”, through objects such as pieces of the coffin and weeping willow tree (from the garden where Napoleon was buried) brought back from St Helena, the books annotated in the Emperor’s hand and which had been part of the Longwood House library, the annotated map of St Helena (possibly an escape plan) and, of course, the chasseur colonel uniform. This donation was completed by that of General Duchesne, which included the hat worn at Waterloo and a copy of Napoleon’s certificate of baptism.
Other objects joined the collection such as the death mask, and portraits and steel corners donated by Lorne. Others items were unfortunately stolen in 1974.
This collection is mainly centred on life on St Helena and the constitution of Napoleon’s memory through the figures of Mamelouck Ali and General Duchesne. This will be the main theme of the Napoleonic Room.

more on the Sens museums