This summer, the In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres reopens for the public after a thorough renovation, which goes a lot further than just a new layout and some embellishment. The museum will not only be larger, it will also provide the visitors with a more intense perception and richer experience.
The In Flanders Fields Museum presents the story of the First World War as experienced on the Front in Belgium's West Flanders. In the renovated Cloth Halls of Ypres, the completely new permanent exhibition (opening 11 June 2012) tells the story of the invasion of Belgium and the first few months of mobilisation, the four years of trench warfare in the Westhoek (from the beach at Nieuwpoort to the River Lys in Armentières), the end of the war and the sustained remembrance since.
The focus of the scenography is the human experience and it calls particular attention to the contemporary landscape as one of the last true witnesses to the history of the war. The museum views the events from many possible perspectives The general and military history angle is important, but so is the relationship with the present, the approach - as humans and as a society - to our past and that of all the other countries involved. With people from five continents and more than fifty different countries and cultures taking part in the war in Flanders, the public that visits the In Flanders Fields Museum is extremely international.
The new museum is 50% larger and houses a new WWI knowledge centre, new education space for workshops and greater visitor comfort.