1000 historic weapons saved from destruction

All the versions of this article: English , français

The name of La Tribune de l’Art does not appear in the press release issued by the Musée de l’Armée announcing that a thousand historic weapons will enter the collections of French museums. However, the operation which enabled the museum to identify these objects, collected as part of the operation to recover weapons from the general public, in collaboration with experts from the Central Weapons and Explosives Service, would never have existed had it not been for the alert we sent to it - they had not been informed - and the article we published.
Ariane James-Sarazin, curator and deputy director of the museum (a position she has just left) spontaneously confirmed: "without you, I wouldn’t have been able to do anything at my level and heritage would have lost a lot. Thank you very much. You can be proud of your work on behalf of museums".

Photo posted on Twitter by the Maine-et-Loire prefecture. Among the firearms - some of which are in the public domain or authorized for sale - is a perfectly legal infantry officer’s saber, model 1882, which may not be of interest to a museum as it is quite common, but whose value can be estimated at around €150.
This historic collector’s saber was probably destroyed because it was too common to be of interest to a museum.
See the image in its page

As La Tribune de l’Art do, as we often say, a journalism committed to heritage and museums, nothing could please us more than such news. This means that 1,000 collectors’ firearms, some of them genuine works of art, would otherwise have been destroyed have been saved, and will soon be on public display or at least preserved in a museum.
A presentation has already been made on November 14th to some forty museums, who will be able to express their interest thanks to a catalog published for the purpose. We haven’t yet had a chance to consult this document, but we’ll be sure to highlight some of the finest objects on offer.

While we can only rejoice that these weapons have been saved, we must regret the amateurism that presided over the launch of this operation led by the Ministry of the Interior, which could have resulted in a heritage catastrophe [1]. In addition, it is clear that the private individuals, panicked by the latter’s communication, who spontaneously handed in weapons they had every right to keep, were indeed - let’s not mince words - robbed of the objects they owned and whose value they obviously didn’t know, as we already said in this second article. Hopefully, if this operation is repeated in the future, it will be carried out a little differently.

Didier Rykner


[1It is to be feared, moreover, that certain weapons, such as infantry sabres common enough to be of no interest to museums, but nevertheless of value to collectors, have been ruthlessly destroyed.


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