The Lapérouse Museum, an amazing museum...

A native of Albi, Jean-François de Galaup de Lapérouse was a famous 18th century explorer to whom his hometown dedicated a museum, which opened in June 1988.
It is located in a superb red brick vaulted room.
From the Botany Bay square, where it is located, you can admire one of the most beautiful panoramas of the city of Albi.

 

The Museum...
The museum is not only the story of one man but a great page of the maritime history of the late eighteenth century and an invitation to participate in the mysteries that still remain.


More than 600 pieces are exhibited in the museum including many remains of the Compass and the Astrolabe from the excavations at the site of the shipwreck.

These works come from several sources including donations and loans, either from private individuals, other museums or directly from the Salomon association which carries out scientific research at Vanikoro and analyzes the remains. The other pieces from the scientific excavations have been transferred to the Musée national de la Marine in Paris, the Musée national de la Marine in Brest and the Museum of Maritime History of New Caledonia.

The exhibition is divided into two areas and includes paintings, models including the compass, weapons, uniforms, navigational instruments, objects found at the site of the shipwreck, etc.

The lower part evokes the navigator's family and very briefly his maritime career (Ile de France, War of America...).
The major part is devoted to the voyage around the world, described step by step:
- ships and men
- the preparations
- from Brest to Easter Island
- from Easter Island to Hawaii and Alaska
- from California to China
- of China in the Tartarian Sea and Kamchatka
- from Kamchatka in Australia
Showcases display model ships, nautical instruments, guns and firearms...
"The upper part evokes the navigators who preceded Lapérouse in the Pacific (Bougainville, Cook...) and plays a large part in the research undertaken by d'Entrecasteaux, Dillon and Dumont d'Urville to find the site of the shipwreck.
It allows us to discover some fine examples of Oceanic art as well as many objects from the excavations carried out at the site of the disappearance of the Vanikoro expedition.
Two very beautiful models make us discover the port and the city of Brest in the 18th century and the island of Vanikoro.
Among the objects presented during exhibitions, some are of great interest:
- A copy made by Mr. Roustit of the large painting by Monsiau, commissioned by Louis XVIII, and showing Louis XVI receiving Lapérouse in his library in Versailles.
- an original pastel depicting Lapérouse's father in his consul's outfit for the city of Albi
- model ships, notably Cook's Endeavour and soon a large model of the Compass.

- Objects from the Vanikoro excavations: stone-cutting cannon, grindstones, bilge pump, crockery...
Among the Oceanian art objects: A feather box from New Zealand, a rare mask from Seplk (New Guinea), original statuettes from Vanuatu...
Among the last acquisitions of the museum we can see a gold cross of St. Louis (beginning Restoration).

 

Lapérouse Museum
Square Botany Bay,
Porta Street,
81000 Albi
Tel: 05 63 46 01 87
http://www.laperouse-france.fr/

 

musee-laperouse.albi@orange.fr

 

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

 


To go further....

Jean François Galaup de Lapérouse / Dans la marine et les colonies du roi 1756-1788

Ce fascicule est une création de l'Association Lapérouse Albi (France). Rédigé par son Président Pierre BÉRARD, il décrit le parcours maritime dans le contexte guerrier et colonial de l'époque qui a conduit Lapérouse à être choisi comme l'explorateur maritime de Louis XVI.
Le voyage de La Pérouse : Itinéraire et aspects singuliers

Pourquoi un nouveau livre sur le voyage de La Pérouse alors qu'il existe au moins trois ouvrages majeurs qui lui sont entièrement consacrés, et que par ailleurs son voyage dans le Pacifique occupe une part assez importante de ses nombreuses biographies ? Parce qu'il reste encore "beaucoup à glaner " comme dirait La Pérouse... et, pour Pierre Bérard, le désir de replacer dans leur contexte certains aspects du voyage.
Lapérouse : Voyage autour du monde

Le 1° août 1785, la Boussole et l'Astrolabe quittèrent le port de Brest pour le dernier grand voyage du siècle des Lumières. A leur bord, menés capitaine Jean-François de Galaup de Lapérouse, scientifiques et marins français s'apprêtaient à découvrir des terres encore inexplorées, rencontrer des peuples sauvages auxquels " apporter les bienfaits de la civilisation ", ouvrir de nouvelles routes commerciales. L'expédition ne put mener terme le but qui lui avait été assigné : Vanikoro se dressa sur route. Les côtes de l'Australie furent les dernières à voir les deux navires le 10 mars 1788. L'histoire de ce voyage autour du monde ne s'est pourtant pas achevée sur les récifs des îles Salomon, au cœur du Pacifique, à des milliers de kilomètres de la France. Avez-vous des nouvelles de Monsieur de Lapérouse aurait demandé Louis XVI au pied de l'échafaud. Une question qu'on ne cesse toujours pas de se poser, deux siècles après le naufrage.

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