The Egyptian Department of the Louvre during the First World War (2)

After describing the emergency measures taken in August 19141, continuation and end of my overview of the life in the Egyptian galleries of the Louvre during the Great War: the daily life of the museum during the conflict.

Two main sources allow us to glimpse the course of the events: the notebook kept by Charles Boreux2, and the regular reports sent by the curator Georges Bénédite to his direct superior, the director of the National Museums3. Valuable information can also be found in the files concerning the evacuation of collections (and unfinished projects)4.

The department settles into the war

The war had now begun. It was the beginning of a slowed-down life5, at the rear, in critical operating conditions (of the 180 usual guards, only 78 had not been mobilised6.

As early as September 1914, Boreux described this new phase in his notebook:

[Thursday 3 to Thursday 24 September 1914] The life of the Department was almost completely suspended. We had begun to arrange for a closet adjoining the Dog Room7, in whi intending to wall it up after storing a selection of objects taken from the showcases of our rooms on the 1st Floor: but the Minister of Public Instruction and the Under-Secretary of State for the Fine Arts having forbidden us to employ this procedure (we have orders, in the event of a German invasion, to present the objects that might be requested of us: we can just put a certain number of objects under cover of the bombardment and, if they come to ask for them, present them by explaining why we have moved them: we have therefore left our display cases as they were after we had removed a number of objects that we had stored in the closet of the Columns Hall and in that of the Votive Objects room, in order to protect them from the risks of bombing.

This initiative by the staff, disavowed by the government, to avoid any risk of looting in the event of the investment of Paris by German troops, is also described in the report on the progress of the month of September 1914 sent by Bénédite to the director: “The arrangements I had made to hide the antiquities to be removed from the enemy in masonry shelters afterwards have been suspended, in accordance with the orders given by the Under-Secretary of State, and since that time the department has been waiting for decisive events to reorganise the collections”8. The evocation of this concealment initiative, unpublished to my knowledge, is particularly interesting and complements well the anecdote reported by Pottier of a minister greeting the museum staff by enjoining them not to put up the slightest resistance9.

After the alarms of August and the first evacuations of objects (quite limited, as we have seen, regarding the Egyptian antiquities), and then the thwarted undertakings of September, the workers and marble masons who remained available were employed on fitting out the mastaba room. However, there seems to have been some relaxation in the safety instructions, as we learn from a new report by Bénédite: “Among the protective measures against the bursting of bombs by German aviators is the permanent closure of the shutters of the Charles X rooms on the first floor. For several weeks now there has been some relaxation in this measure. The brigadier or officer on guard duty in the Columns Hall opens the shutters of the large bay to read his newspaper more conveniently. The lighting of this room through the transoms of the three windows which are not blinded is sufficiently (sic) and I insist that the shutters of the central bay remain constantly closed.”10

In the last months of 1914, work was therefore proceeding, with the preparation of an Old Kingdom room in place of the former Mastaba room, and the subsequent movement of objects. The École du Louvre was still teaching11, and when Bénédite was prevented by an attack of rheumatism, Boreux ensured the running of the department12.

Colleagues and visitors during closure

These months of understaffed work in a closed museum were inevitably punctuated by news from the front, sometimes tragic; Boreux soberly noted on 17 February 1915: “Mr Jean Maspero was killed on 16 February at the attack on Vauquois.”

Boreux’s notebook, 17 February 1915: announcement of Jean Maspero’s death. (Archives nationales 20144775/5, 3rd notebook).

Jean Maspero

Picture: Wikimedia Commons.

Son of Gaston Maspero, Jean had become a Byzantinist and worked regularly at the Louvre on the Coptic collections. Boreux had noted in his notebook on Friday 12 December 1913 “Mr Jean Maspero has been appointed temporary attaché to the Louvre Museum, with the mission of making the catalogue of objects from the Chassinat excavations at Baouit. It is understood that he will begin his work in January 1914. The news of his death seems to have circulated very quickly, since the 17 February was chosen as the date of his death in the military file for transmission to the civil registry and on his conscription form (Boreux may also have filled in a posteriori, as of 17 February).

Documented by Boreux’s notebook, less painful episodes, however, continue to animate the haggard daily life of the institution, despite the closure:

[Friday, March 5th, 1915] The Meroitic column drum, chosen by Mr Bénédite in London last July (see Saturday, July 25, 1914) and among the objects coming from the Garstang excavations, and which could not, because of its dimensions, be included in the objects of the same provenance sent to the Louvre last August 4 (see this date), has reached us today. It was brought to us today by Mr Garstang, who came to France to work in an infirmary of the English Red Cross. Because of the Channel blockade he Mr Garstang came from England by way of the Atlantic and the Straits of Gibraltar, and it was from Marseilles that the drum in question was ultimately shipped to us.13

[Tuesday, March 16th, 1915] Received a visit from Mr Ganne 26 rue Pasquier who came as a friend of Mr Terzy, ‘a rich Egyptian (?)’ living at 56 route de Croissy in Le Vesinet, to pass on a request from him. Mr Terzy, who owns an acephalous Osiris ‘of large dimensions, in stone’ would have been happy if we could give him a head to put on it’. I replied to Mr Ganne that we were the Museum and not the Louvre’s shop, and that we were not in charge of restocking. And as he insisted, I gave him the advice to have his Osiris moulded, and to send the moulding to the merchants in Cairo, who will perhaps find something to suit him, in this case a head to his torso.

[Friday, May 28th, 1915] Received Miss Carof 13 rue Remilly in Versailles, addressed to the Louvre by Monsieur Moret curator at the Guimet Museum. Miss Carof, who wished to take as the subject of a tale the love affairs of Amenophis V and the singer of Amun depicted on a canvas [space left blank] in our Museum, wished to see this canvas beforehand. I had to show him that Amenophis V had never existed except in Révillout’s imagination.

In addition to these solicitations from amateurs, several scholars adapted to the situation in order to pursue their studies and remain in contact with their colleagues. Thus, Bénédite’s report of 16 January 1915 mentions the intention of “M. Jouguet, professor at the University of Lille, to occupy his forced leisure time in Paris by coming to work on our collection of Greek papyri.”

The museum even made a few acquisitions, including a head of a young girl from the 18th dynasty given by Joanny Peytel and a Ramesside female statuette14.

The entries in Boreux’s notebook then stop for a while, as he himself was mobilised between 23 June 1915 and 11 January 191915. Bénédite informed his hierarchy in a note:

I have the honour to inform you that Mr Boreux is called up from today by the military authority to be transferred to the 20th section of the Secretaries of Staff. The Egyptian Department is thus reduced, in terms of personnel, to me alone.

Archives nationales, 20150044/36, note from Bénédite to the Directeur, 23 June 1915.

In addition to the few visits which marked the life of the department from time to time, Bénédite indicated the news he received from Boreux in his reports:

During the past month, I only have to mention the visit of Mr Lacau, Director General of the Antiquities of Egypt, who came on August 25 to consult me on some details of the organization of my department and others on the running of the services of the National Museums. He greatly appreciated the type of showcase we have adopted for the last few years and expressed his desire to use it as a model for the transformation of the material in the Cairo Museum.

Mr Boreux gives me news from time to time. Although he is in the armed service, he does not seem to me to have a well-defined military situation yet, his health being such as to exclude him from the most tiring exercises at any time. It is to be hoped that he will be transferred to the auxiliaries and re-established in Paris, that is to say within our reach.

Archives nationales, 20150044/36, Bénédite’s report, 1st September 1915.

I received a letter from Mr Boreux informing me of his transfer to the territorial army reserve, but without any change of garrison.

Archives nationales, 20150044/36, Bénédite’s report, 15 October 1915.

The temporary return of Boreux, presumably on leave, is mentioned in the 16 January report; although he was unable to resume his service in the department, he was nevertheless put to work, since he prepared the papyri that Pierre Jouguet and the Hellenist Bernard Haussoulier, as well as his student Germaine Rouillard, were to study. Bénédite did not stop at expressing his wish to be able to call him back “within range”, since we shall see that he formally requested his return to help him with the emergency measures of 1918.

Here is the situation as it was described by Bénédite in a report to the director at the end of 191516:

The past year has not been lost for the Department of Egyptian Antiquities. Deprived on June 23, 1915 of my collaborator Mr Ch. Boreux, whose activity, zeal and dedication are well known to you, I was nevertheless able to face alone the usual affairs simplified by the cessation of our relations with the world of antiquity dealers and the visitors of the collections who come to the curators’ cabinets to work.

The following year it was the British Lord Carnarvon (February 1916) and Norman de Garis Davies (May 1916) who visited the department. In October, Bénédite also mentioned his correspondence with Georges Foucart:

Nothing to report during the past month, except a letter from Mr G. Foucart, director of the Archaeological Institute of Cairo, asking me to specify how interested is my department in the product of the Abu Roach excavations stored at the headquarters of this institute in Cairo. I released him from any obligation with us in order to allow him to make the distribution he planned between the museums of municipalities and universities. The cream of this find has already been allocated to us and is still in boxes in our storerooms at the Museum.

Archives nationales, 20150044/37, Bénédite’s report, 5 October 1916.

The premises and the collections

As far as the state of the rooms and collections is concerned, although Boreux’s notebooks give some indications, Benedite’s reports are the most complete and, even if they become rare from 1917 onwards, they make it possible to document Boreux’s mobilisation period.

Weather concerns

During this period, the climate was a constant preoccupation in Benedite’s reports. He worried about the cold in the offices in February 1915:

I have heard that several of my colleagues were complaining about the cold in their offices. If they have the same temperature as I get from my two open radiators, they have every right to complain. For several days now I have been struggling to reach 12°. At a quarter to four I find it’s 11.5°. I hold out my helmet like Belisarius to get two degrees more.

Archives nationales, 20150044/36, rapport du 2 février 1915.

However, it is above all the salubrity of the museum’s rooms that preoccupies him in the course of his reports, as well as the collections material state:

[May 1st, 1915] The sudden rise in temperature [“determines”?] at the moment a great imbalance between the air outside and the air inside the galleries on the ground floor, which have not been heated this winter. The latter are being transformed into real iceboxes. I think it would be a good idea, as a general measure, to have the whole ground floor ventilated. This would be a simple and practical way of fighting moisture.

[May 4th, 1916] During a visit made in this fortnight of our bronze collections, I noticed the appearance of powdery oxidation on some statuettes that their previous state predisposed to this state of degradation. I am currently experimenting with washing with turpentine and I have observed that the initial effects of this washing are satisfactory. I will continue the experiment which is not yet conclusive.

The limestone monuments hidden in the recesses at my disposal have not suffered.

[May 17th, 1916] Nothing to report in the past fortnight. The ventilation of my department is going well. I think it would be good to do the same for the two rooms of the Ecole du Louvre which, unheated at the moment, remain cold while the temperature of the atmosphere outside rises.

G. Bénédite

I ask for a table and chair to be sent to the mastaba room for my catalogue work, which I will be able to resume.

[August 2nd 1916] The month of July has passed without the slightest event worthy of note. I spend most of my afternoons in the mastaba room, which is occupied with my catalogue, and at the moment I am taking advantage of it to open up this vast room, which has become an icebox, to the warm air from outside. On the other hand, I have noticed that the ventilation system that was installed in the Henri IV room does not work regularly every afternoon. This seems to me to be a mistake good to report to the service deputy head.

This concern is not only due to his sensitive joints, but clearly to an acute awareness of the dangers to the collections of any sudden climatic variation or unhealthy atmosphere. Fortunately, he was not the only one to be concerned about this; a similar preoccupation can be found, for example, in the report sent to the management by Gaston Migeon, curator of objets d’art: “I consider it essential, as soon as the north wind and frosts resume, to open all the windows for several mornings in these rooms [on the Square Court 1st floor], and to install large draughts to dry out the atmosphere and purify it. […] It is absolutely necessary to turn on the heaters, even if only two or three days a week, especially in humid weather.”17

During this time, the partial reopening of the museum was decided, on two occasions, from March 1916 to February 1917 and from May 1917 to the end of January 1918, but only the rooms of medieval and modern sculpture were concerned18; these were the collections that could not be moved and which, incidentally, had the greatest ‘national’ resonance19.

In 1918, the department was faced with another concern: the fear of bombing.

1918: new worries caused by bombing

Paris was indeed hit during the winter of 1918, first by aircraft and then by long-range artillery. Even before the cannons nicknamed “Big Bertha” by the French came into action, the museum was hit by the shock waves resulting from some of the bombardments:

The explosion of yesterday [15 March 1918] had its repercussions even in my department. Three panes of beautiful glass nearly a centimetre thick were shattered at the easternmost window of the room containing funerary objects, commonly referred to in the museum as the Dog Room. As the window opening had been clear since the beginning of the war, the shards fell on the night watchman’s table. I ordered deputy head Champion to clear all the other window embrasures, including the [“glass cases”?] still in place.

I fear that the measure ordered by telephone to open all the windows will have consequences for the many cases in all departments with more delicate glass than the building windows.

Bénédite’s report, 16 March 1918.

As a precautionary measure, the museum administration then decided to move more pieces out of the palace, this time to the Pantheon, Blois and Fontainebleau around mid-March20; in June, a new evacuation was decided, as complete as possible (and which included the antiquities departments)21.

It was at this point that Bénédite wrote a note outlining the essential steps he felt should be taken:

The protective measures taken in my department had been taken only in view of aerial dangers and the risks of ordinary bombing. It is therefore my duty to tell you that, if the occupation of Paris by the enemy is foreseen, other measures are necessary.

The Egyptian department contains a number of monuments of far greater value than the paintings and furniture that make up the collection currently being transported to the Château de Blois, value not only artistic but venal. The seated scribe, the bust of Amenophis IV, the Posno bronzes, the wooden statuettes of Tui, Pai, Zai, the set of cleaning tools (unique collection) the harp, some alabasters, and some famous sculpture should be taken away from Paris to remove the direct temptation of their immediate removal by order of the military authorities and without the slightest consultation of Germanic scientific expertise, which would perhaps put some scruple in stripping us, given the cult paid in Germany to the memory of Champollion.22 Some measures should therefore be taken for the monuments I have just mentioned.

namely

special packing

transport in dry and well-ventilated premises.

designation, if possible, of a town in the south of France because of the susceptibility of the limestone objects.

provisional demobilisation of Mr Boreux, attached to the commander of the Chartres recruitment offices, to assist me in the execution of these measures.

G. Bénédite

I have not left my post since the declaration of war; I have not taken any kind of leave, nor left Paris a single night. I believe I am justified in asking for help at such an urgent and difficult time.

Archives nationalles, 20150044/30, 6 June 1918 report.

It is notable that the evacuation of the objects is requested here by Bénédite; that of September 1914 had been imposed by the government against the deliberations of the curators. Boreux’s request for the return of the objects does not seem to have been acted upon. Three weeks later, however, the report of 29 June indicated that crating had begun. Events were to alter the project, however, with the news that mould had developed in some of the crates used for the evacuation of the collections in Toulouse. So Benedict suspended the operation; he wanted to carry out a complete examination of the crates that had been prepared. Luckily for us, he had to justify his decision to his superiors:

Louvre Palace, 24 July 1918

To the Director of the National Museums

Currently the situation of the Antiquities of the Egyptian Department for which some measures had to be taken is the following:

Fourteen crates were ready to leave on Sunday 7 July. They contained the pieces put in reserve and destined to form the shipment for which 18 to 20 crates had been planned, with the exception of the Stele of the Serpent King whose removal had been delayed and the bust of Akhunaten which scruples inspired by the fragility of the material made me hold back.

I was waiting for the notice to deliver these antiques to the representatives of the Garde-Meuble National, when I was informed of the hay incident in Toulouse. I immediately warned Chenue to be at my disposal for a repacking. I planned to let them know when this would happen. The details that were reported to me concerning the packing of Mr Migeon’s objects and which incriminate both the wood of the boxes and the mixture of freshly cut hay with dry hay, preserved me from any precipitation.

I have put my consignment under observation and have so far found nothing resembling fermentation. The Scribe case, in particular, the only one that was supplied to me from outside (all the others had been in the department for several years), is almost clear-cut and does not give off any suspicious odours. Of course, it should be taken into account that these crates have not left the Louvre and have therefore avoided the great variations in temperature.

This wait has had another advantage. The military situation has changed significantly and the fears which until now had dictated emergency measures no longer exist. I therefore have before me the time necessary to leave nothing to chance and above all to exercise my foresight in a more general sense, that is to say, by not losing sight of the risks arising from causes other than those created by the enemy armies.

At the forefront is the prospect of another winter without heating. The experience of the last winter was conclusive in my department. A number of carved or engraved stones were covered with efflorescence. I had to fight against this on several occasions. But what suffered the most were the bronzes and unfortunately the main pieces of the collection. The three Posno bronzes, the Karomama statuette and some of the most beautiful statuettes of divinities have been more or less attacked by this scabby oxidation which is a real disease of the metal. This state of affairs is very regrettable. From this point of view alone, the departure of my boxes to the South can still be considered as a measure of foresight. But, I insist on this point, the Provençal and Languedoc region seems to me infinitely better indicated than that of Toulouse whose winter isotherms are linked to the northern climate of France and not to the Mediterranean. The Antiquities of my department, which are for the most part of a delicate nature, will find a more complete security in a simple Municipal Museum offering certain guarantees to be foreseen, if this museum is, for example, that of Marseilles (Boréllily), that of Nîmes (Maison-Carrée, particularly sheltered against fire) or that of Montpellier. We can add to this small list Arles and Avignon.

There is no hurry at the moment. The matter seems to me to require careful study, and I believe that if it is resolved in the way I have indicated, a very effective measure would have been taken to alleviate the winter inconveniences. Is it worth adding that there is not a municipality that does not make a point of honour of housing with the greatest care collection pieces belonging to our great national museum?

The Curator of Egyptian Antiquities

Georges BENEDITE

Archives nationales, 20150044/31, folder 3, file “Marseille”

The suspicion of contamination of these collections therefore allowed Bénédite to suspend the operation and to prioritise all the risks involved; as the risk of the capture of Paris and the bombardment diminished, the climatic hazards became the main threat. The file contains a letter which tells us that this suggestion had been transmitted two days later by the director to the Under-Secretary of State for Fine Arts, who validated the project after having consulted the Prefect of Bouches-du-Rhône. At the end of August, Bénédite was able to congratulate himself while stressing to the director that he had made sure with the central administration that the non-emergency nature of the situation was admitted. This gave him all the time he needed to check the health of his cases:

[August 1st, 1918] Nothing to report apart from my intention to open this week some – and if necessary all – of the crates of my shipment, which is still waiting and so far does not let any suspicious smell through.

[August 17st, 1918] During the past fortnight, the 14 crates of Egyptian antiquities prepared for evacuation were opened and visited in my presence by Mr Chenue. The examination of the hay used for the packing was very meticulous and did not reveal anything abnormal. The inside of the boxes had retained its original dry state. I was anxious that this check should be (sic) complete for the Seated Scribe and, not only the packing material, but the monument itself was subjected to a severe examination. The monument was perfectly dry and without the slightest trace of dampness.

The boxes have been refurbished and nailed and will be ready to go as soon as circumstances require it.

Archives nationales 20150044/37, report from Bénédite to the director.
The ram mummies out of the display cases on the landing of the South staircase in 1918 (Meurisse Press Agency, Gallica).

Probably for the best, these boxes were never actually to leave.

The end of the conflict

On January 15th, 1919, three days after the reopening to the public of some rooms in the department23 Boreux resumed his service at the Louvre and the meticulous keeping of his notebook; here is the beginning of the entry for the day of his return:

Resumed, from that date on, to reinstall the department (a task that consisted, at first, in unpacking the crates in which Mr Bénédite had had the most precious objects of our Egyptian collection put in June 1918, to be sent to Blois. These crates had not in fact been shipped in the end, and had never left the Salle des Colonnes.) At the same time, we prepared our participation in an exhibition, in the La Caze room (formerly the Estates room, now the Etruscan room), of objects that entered the Louvre during the war through purchases, gifts or bequests. This exhibition opened on 10 February.

Life went on and the museum gradually reopened. At the end of March, new Egyptian rooms were added24 ; followed by the last remaining closed spaces:

[Monday, April 14th, 1919] We have reopened (on the occasion of the inauguration of the Aronati-Visconti room) our entire Charles X Museum – It will be open to the public from tomorrow 15th – The entire Egyptian Department25 is thus reopened in the same conditions as before the war (with the exception of the Mastaba room26, still closed for reasons of lack of watchmen).

And finally, seven months after the armistice:

Boreux’s notebook, 28 June 1919: signing of the Treaty of Versailles (Archives nationales, 20144775/5, 4th notebook).

[Saturday, June 28th, 1919] Germany signed the peace treaty imposed on her by the Allies at Versailles.

Boreux clearly did not let himself disctracted from the care he took in keeping his notebook and noted a reference to the entry of August 3rd, 1914, where he recorded Germany’s declaration of war on France, and gave the same entry a reference to that of June 28th, 1919. He did, however, allow himself to mark these two historical entries with a blue pencil underline, and his explicit formulation of Germany’s inferior position probably hints at his satisfaction.


The documents dispersed in the archives of the National Museums finally make it possible to follow the course of operations caused by the war in some detail.

Despite the concerns, the department did not suffer any material losses during the period, despite the movements imposed on the collections. Bénédite’s attention to the climate control of the rooms and the health of the collections is remarkable.

The traces we have found of the course of operations also highlight the significant segmentation of the various departments, despite the common instructions. Although “transversal” collaboration was not impossible (particularly during the emergency crating of August 1914), the collections were managed separately, and each department had to shelter its items in its own premises, mainly with its own material and human resources. As for determining which objects should be sheltered first, this seems to have been left to the discretion of the curators of each department, who were after all in the best position to make this decision.

However, it seems that Bénédite was given far more latitude in his handling of the crisis than his colleagues in the modern and contemporary departments. The government did not intervene specifically to decide how to protect the Egyptian collections, unlike the paintings. It was probably the technical and specialised nature of the antique departments (Egyptian and Oriental) that spared them this, although the Under-Secretary of State could later write: “I know the museum well: so it was quite easy for me to draw up in a short time a list of 710 paintings that I felt should be kept safe.”27

In any case, the worries experienced by the museum during the war and the reversals in decision-making, the evacuation orders given only to be challenged and cancelled at the last moment, imposed the need for a more rigorous emergency evacuation plan; by the Second World War, the departments had prepared for this, and a significant part of the collections was sent to the South-West. But that is another story…


This post was translated into English from the French original “Le département égyptien du Louvre pendant la Première Guerre mondiale (2)“, June 30th, 2019.

  1. See “The Egyptian Department of the Louvre during the First World War (1)“, June 9th 2019 (translated November 16th 2021). []
  2. National Archives, 20144775/5. []
  3. National Archives, 20150044/36-37; these reports are supposed to be bi-weekly from the time of the theft of the Mona Lisa, but their regularity varies greatly. In 1917, for example, only three were kept for the Department of Egyptian Antiquities. []
  4. Archives nationales, 20150044/31. []
  5. I have not been able to find the exact date from which the museum was closed to the public, but it can probably be set on the 2d of August, with the mobilisation of a large part of the staff. []
  6. Pottier, Edmond, Le musée du Louvre pendant la guerre 1914-1918, 1919, p. 9). []
  7. The first room in the Charles X enfilade from the South staircase, at the junction of the south wing of the Square Court and the South Pavilion; it is now devoted to the early Ramesside period. []
  8. Archives nationales, 20150044/36, report of 28 September 1914. []
  9. This anecdote, however, has a more pitiful tone: “Do your best. I hope we will come back soon. Besides, there is no point in having you shot: you are not belligerents and you must bow to force.” (Pottier, Edmond, op. cit., p. 10.) But these words are reported in 1919 and probably also reflect the depreciation of the withdrawn politicians by whom their fellow citizens may have felt abandoned. []
  10. National Archives, 20150044/36, report of 15 October 1914. []
  11. Archives nationales, 20150044/36, 3 December 1914 report: Bénédite calls for the reopening of the Lefuel door; his report of 16 November 1915 also mentions the printing of posters announcing the courses, so that the auditors could register. []
  12. Archives nationales, 20150044/36, 19 December 1914 report. []
  13. Benedite’s report to the Director of 16 March 1915 (Archives Nationales, 20150044/36) also refers to this affair. []
  14. Maingon, Claire, Le musée invisible. Le Louvre et la Grande Guerre, Paris, 2016, p. 141. []
  15. Archives de Paris, D4 R1 797, matricule 838 Boreux, Charles: Although he had previously been discharged for poor eyesight, he appears to have been posted to the 20th section of staff secretaries (he himself notes in the notebook “20th division SEM”, from 23 June 1915 to 20 July 1915); then to the 102nd infantry regiment, on the Eastern Front; from 16 October 1915, he is no longer considered to be in the active army and in the field (no wound or convalescence is mentioned on his service record; could he be reassigned to the staff secretary? In any case, he did not resume his duties at the Louvre); he was demobilised on 11 January 1919. []
  16. Archives nationales, 20144775/2. []
  17. Archives nationales 20150044/30, folder 4, December 1915 report. []
  18. Pottier, Edmond, op. cit., p. 11 and Barbier, Muriel et al., “Le Louvre durant la Première Guerre mondiale”, in Lintz, Yannick et Bresc-Bautier, Geneviève (eds.), Histoire du Louvre, t. 2, Paris, Louvre, 2016, p. 365-366. []
  19. Michel, André, “Réouverture des salles de sculpture française au musée du Louvre”, Journal des débats politiques et littéraires, 28 February 1916, p. 3. []
  20. Pottier, Edmond, op. cit., p. 12-13. []
  21. Pottier, Edmond, op. cit., p. 14 and Barbier, Muriel et al., loc. cit.. []
  22. The delicacy that Benedite lends to his German colleagues is remarkable in the context of the international discredit that had befallen them since the outbreak of the conflict; see Gady, Éric, “Le regard des égyptologues français sur leurs collègues allemands, de Champollion à Lacau“, Revue germanique internationale 16, 2012, p. 150-170. []
  23. Maingon, Claire, op. cit., p. 163: “Egyptian tombs” (?) rooms. []
  24. Maingon, Claire, op. cit., p. 164 : the Egyptian rooms are listed among several “completely new” rooms, unfortunately without detailed reference; this would probably be the Middle Kingdom room formed from the Asyut pieces moved from the old Mastaba room. []
  25. Some of the rooms in the “Old Louvre”, i.e. the Square Court, reopened on 11 January: Pottier, Edmond, op. cit., p. 17. []
  26. Then in the Sessions pavilion. []
  27. Dalimier, Albert, “Le déménagement du Louvre”, Lectures pour tous, 15 October 1915, p. 141. This statement was made a posteriori, in the press, and perhaps does not exclude a certain smugness in describing in this way the familiarity maintained by the politician with the great masters; it would be necessary to cross-reference this testimony with the archives of the paintings department to establish the role of the curators in the elaboration of this list. []

Thomas Lebée

Chargé de travaux dirigés (École du Louvre) ; documentaliste scientifique au département des antiquités grecques, étrusques et romaines (musée du Louvre)

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