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April
Museum of History exhibition offers insight into the life of Napoleon

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Two hundred national treasures of France depicting the legendary life of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) go on display at the Hong Kong Museum of History tomorrow (April 30).

Napoleon Bonaparte: Emperor and Man, running until June 29, is the first exhibition on Napoleon ever staged in Hong Kong. It offers an insight into a major chapter of world history and the imperial grandeur of the Napoleonic era.

The exhibition was opened by the Acting Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Mr Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, today (April 29).

Other officiating guests included the Consul-General of France in Hong Kong, Mr Serge Mostura; the Secretary for Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho Chi-ping; the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Anissa Wong Sean-yee; the President of the Legion d'Honneur Club Hong Kong Chapter and the Chairman and Chief Manager of Chekiang First Bank Ltd, Dr James Kung Ziang-mien; and the Managing Director of Local Printing Press Limited, Mr Wayne Leung.

The exhibition is a joint presentation of the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, and is a highlight of Le French May, an annual cultural festival organised by the French Consulate General.

"The exhibition plays an important role in the cultural exchange between France and Hong Kong," Secretary for Home Affairs Dr Ho told the opening ceremony.

"Napoleon was one of the greatest military commanders in history. He was also an excellent civil administrator. The impact of his visionary administrative reforms can still be felt today in many parts of Europe. Napoleon did much to foster culture and the arts. Numerous masterpieces in painting and the fixtures of the imperial courts were made under his influence. All of them now constitute integral parts of the French national heritage," said Dr Ho.

Selected from the Musee National des Chateaux de Malmaison and Bois-Preau in France, the exhibits include busts of the Bonaparte family; daily and military objects used by Napoleon; and famous paintings recording Napoleon's crossing of the Alps, the spectacular coronation ceremony of Napoleon and Josephine, and his famous battles in Europe, such as the Battle of Marengo and the Battle of Waterloo. Moreover, the exhibition reflects the splendours of French culture and imperial life during the 18th and 19th centuries, showcasing its precious costumes and textiles, jewellery, books and furniture.

To coincide with the exhibition, a series of lecture talks will be organised and audio-guide services will be available in the museum. A fully illustrated catalogue will also be published.

The exhibition is jointly organised by the Museum of History and the Musee National des Chateaux de Malmaison and Bois-Preau in France, and sponsored by the Legion d'Honneur Club Hong Kong Chapter, the Local Printing Press Limited and Chekiang First Bank Ltd.

The Museum of History is located at 100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It is open from 10am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and from 10 am to 7 pm on Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Tuesdays, except public holidays.

Admission for the Napoleon Bonaparte exhibition is $20 with half-price concession for full-time students, senior citizens and people with disabilities. There will be no free admission on Wednesdays.

For details, please visit the Museum of History's website at http://hk.history.museum or call 2724 9042.

End/Tuesday, April 29, 2003

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