On July 24th 1923, the Treaty of Lausanne was signed, ending the war between Greece and Turkey that began in 1919.
It is considered to be the last peace treaty of WWI and has been judged by some to be the only guarantee of lasting peace between Greece and Turkey. For others, it was a violation of Human Rights.
The treaty imposed the exchange of civil populations and defined the terms of forced migration on both sides of the Aegean Sea.
1.3 million Greeks and 400,000 Muslims were forced to leave their homes, leaving their belongings behind.
At the moment of their exile, many of the Greek men and women of Asia Minor left with their religious icons, or those from their churches. These precious, sacred, or protective objects established a link between an old and a new country, between an old and a new life.
Today, some icons in France act as a testament of a migration extending far beyond Greece’s borders.
Each one tells a story.
The exhibition on display at the Musée d’histoire de Nantes, in partnership with the Byzantine and Christian Museum in Athens, offers a chance to discover the exceptional objects from the Refugee Treasures exhibition presented in 2009 in Athens, and a selection of items conserved in France that will be presented for the first time.
Exhibition curator: Kiriaki Tsesmeloglou, member of the Icon Network association, restorer and conservator of painted works
Associate curator: Maria Filipoussi
Author of reference texts: Katerina Seraïdar, anthropologist
Author of fictional stories: Christos Chryssopoulos, author
Drafting and scientific monitoring: Krystel Gualdé, musée d'histoire de Nantes
Project manager: Pierre Chotard, musée d’histoire de Nantes
Associate curator: Gaëlle David, musée d’histoire de Nantes