The Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 in Zonnebeke will present some novelties to visitors from 1 February. An eye-catcher is the new family-friendly route where children can explore the museum with Maurice, the museum rat. But also the new diorama about the Belgian army, the new temporary exhibition and the renewed Commonwealth War Graves Commission and 'Passchendaele Archives' rooms contribute to the experience and commemoration of the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917.
The beautiful result of more than 125,000 museum visitors in 2019, shows that the museum is still relevant to tell the story of the Battle of Passchendaele and to commemorate the many casualties. Our core values 'experience, reflect and remember' will continue to determine our plans for the future, says Joachim Jonckeere, Managing Director MMP1917.
New family route with museum rat Maurice
From 1 February the youngest visitors can go explore on their own with Lisa, her nephew Louis and their little friend Maurice. Lisa and Louis visit their grandfather, who collects WOI stuff in the chateau of Zonnebeke. Maurice takes the children on a discovery tour of the museum with the help of a folding map and an audio play. Along the way, they carry out fun assignments. The museum also offers this new route as an educational package for primary schools.
New setups and exhibitions
The MMP1917 collection holds some 12,000 objects. Part of these are in storage. Until 10 April 2020 the temporary exhibition 'In good hands' explains how the museum stores and manages these pieces. The new diorama about the Belgian army sheds light on the auxiliaries during WWI. The museum was once again able to collaborate with Kris Michiels, who has an exceptional private collection. The final part of the museum presents the personal stories of soldiers who died during the Battle of Passchendaele from the project 'Passchendaele Archives'. This year the MMP1917 tells the story of George Frederick Warwick with personal objects from the family. In the new exhibition 'Forever: The Commonwealth War Graves Commission' visitors will discover how the commemoration task of the commission came to be. The exhibition shows not only how the CWGC collects and buries the bodies from the battlefields, but also how they design and build the cemeteries and monuments.
Geert Bekaert, director of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) for Western Europe Central says: "The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has had a close collaboration with the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 for many years. As early as the expansion of the museum in 2013, we had the opportunity to highlight our workings with an exhibition. We are delighted to have been able to completely renew our installation this year. A number of the newly exhibited objects left our archives in the United Kingdom for the first time to be shown to the general public here".
The novelties were presented on Wednesday 29 January 2020.
Alderman Joachim Jonckeere, Chairman of the 1917, was the first speaker of the day: "We closed the year 2019 with a total of 125.000 visitors. For the year 2020, we hope to welcome 110.000 to 115.000 visitors."
Steven Vandenbussche, curator of the MMP 1917, presented the different novelties for 2020.
The museum made a new promotional video for the MMP 1917.
The temporary exhibition 'In good hands' shows items from the collection of the museum.
And Maurice, Lisa and Louis help the children to discover the museum.
Geert Bekaert, director of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), explained the renewed cooperation with the museum.
And then we could discover the different novelties throughout the museum.
The start of the discover circuit for the chilldren.
At the end of the Museum everyone can take a picture with Lisa, Louis and Maurice.
Maurice can also be found in the shop of the museum.
The new diarama about the Belgian army.
The temporary exhition of a number of souvenirs of George Frederick Warwick. More particular the case on the back of the bycicle is on display.
The renewed installation on the CWGC.
And the temporary exhition 'In good hands'.
Items in metal.
Glass and leather.
More info: Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, Berten Pilstraat 5A, BE-8980 Zonnebeke, www.passchendaele.be
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