My research focuses on the safeguarding of French heritage during the First World War.
I am studying the action carried out by a service called Service de Protection des monuments et œuvres d'art en zone des armées (Service for the Protection of Monuments and Works of Art in the Armed Forces Zone) created in 1917 within the French army. This service, divided into three sections sharing the front, would have evacuated nearly 40 000 works of art and movable objects during its two years of existence. I am building georeferenced databases of monument protection operations as well as of works of art evacuation operations carried out during the war by the sections of this service.
I try to understand what constitutes the French heritage of the time for the authorities in charge of its safeguarding by studying the characteristics of the protected monuments and works (century of creation, type of work, property,...), to follow the logics of evacuation and return of the works but also to see what are the chosen means of transport and who are the different actors of these evacuations. These databases allow me to produce geolocalized and statistical maps, but also to produce quantitative analyses that complement a qualitative approach in order to conduct a cultural history of heritage preservation, a history of taste and a history of the management of works during wartime.