After the annual closing period, the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 in Zonnebeke will open its doors again on 1 February 2019. With a new exhibition space and annual commemorations, the museum wants to continue to spread the story of the Battle of Passchendaele internationally. Commemorating one of the bloodiest periods in our history and keeping the memory of the many victims alive will remain central in the coming years.
‘The memorial years of the centennial of WWI is a period that we look back on very satisfied. The fact that we had 765,374 visitors during that period proves that the name recognition and the social importance of the MMP1917 has grown considerably. We expect to be able to appeal to a wide audience in the coming years too. There’s a steady flow of reservations for 2019,' says Steven Vandenbussche, Director MMP1917.
The remembrance gallery, the last part of the museum, will, from this year on, be mainly a dynamic exhibition space. Every year, two to three historical and artistic exhibitions and various participation projects will take place here. Professor Steve Dixon (Manchester School of Art) is the first to present his art exhibition from 1 February to the end of May 2019. 'Passchendaele, Mud and Memory' is a composition made up of various facial features of soldiers who fought during the Battle of Passchendaele.
From April 2019 visitors can discover a new exhibition about the chateau grounds in the salon. Until then, this space houses the 'Dig Hill 80' exhibition with some of the top finds of the excavations on Hill 80.
In the coming years, the museum will also focus strongly on making personal stories of the fallen soldiers accessible through the 'Passchendaele Archives' project. With this project the MMP1917 goes looking for the stories behind the many names on the cemeteries and monuments and the places where the soldiers died and / or stayed. Some 4,000 files are currently part of this project. Some 2,000 files can be found on the website http://archives.passchendaele.be
Commemoration ceremonies and events
The MMP1917 will continue in the coming years to commemorate with the annual ceremonies 'ANZAC Day' (April 25) and the 'Passchendaele Ceremony with torchlight procession' (November 10). The Research Center is also organising three WW1 lectures this year.
'We are convinced that the story of the Battle of Passchendaele and consequently also the story of the MMP1917 remains relevant. More than 100 years later, the social importance of our story remains strong. War continues to cause many innocent victims to this day ', says Joachim Jonckheere, Managing Director MMP1917.