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Muséum d'histoire naturelle

Renseignements et réservation : 02 35 41 37 28 

Historic tour

The Museum celebrates Australia through arts and sciences.

220 drawings by Charles-Alexandre Lesueur and Nicolas-Martin Petit from the Voyage of discovery to the Austral Lands (1800-1804) commissioned by Napoleon will be displayed alongside 46 contemporary Australian creations. The exhibition shows the privileged relationship between Australia and Le Havre through time and space. Objects are obvious ambassadors of culture, but nature is also reflected through them.

This summer, embark on a journey to the southern lands to discover the privileged links that unite the Museum of Le Havre and Australia, with the men and women from mainland Australia, Tasmania, and the Torres Strait Islands. The exhibition, which combines exceptional heritage collections and contemporary creations – some of which were designed for the exhibition – provides an insight into the Australian culture of yesterday and today.

The exhibition gives a voice to communities on critical environmental issues and allows them to share or revive their ancestral traditions. Benefiting from the most complete collection of illustrations by Charles-Alexandre Lesueur, the official draughtsman of the Voyage of discovery to the Austral Lands, the Museum will present a unique selection of drawings and manuscripts. This scientific expedition is the starting point of the exhibition, which continues with the exhibition of « ambassador objects » testifying to the relationship between France and Australia over time.

The exhibition is divided into three areas. The first area focuses on the scientific research and output of the Voyage of discovery to the Austral Lands, from 1800 until today. The second area plunges visitors into the heart of Aboriginal culture through a gallery of portraits made during the expedition and contemporary objects from South Australia (Ngarrindjeri community) and Tasmania. The third area is a genuine nature observation centre, thanks to a selection of naturalistic drawings, including many watercolours on wove paper. This area will provide an insight into the natural environments of Australia and their inhabitants.


This unique encounter between scientific objects, art objects, and contemporary objects inspired by ancestral traditions opens a very topical dialogue on intercultural bonds and on environmental issues. The exhibition also includes an area dedicated to young visitors : five immersive workshops will put them in the shoes of explorers discovering an unknown territory and its inhabitants.

Practical info


Australia – Le Havre, intimacy of a relationship

Du 5 juin au 7 novembre 2021

Muséum d'histoire naturelle
Place du Vieux marché
76600 Le Havre

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