Current exhibitions

French-style space

Discover the fascinating story of space exploration in France, starting from the first pioneers to make history to the missions of today. Follow along through the exhibition as it guides you through the major milestones that pushed the country first to be named the third space power, then later to become a key player in space expedition not only within Europe, but also at an international scale. A significant portion of the exposition will be dedicated to the history, operations, central role, and missions of the National Center for Space Studies (CNES), in celebration of its 60 years of work.

Designed with the support and partnership of CNES, the exposition will draw on various extraordinary elements – including rare archives from the Guiana Space Center, the top components of two Véronique sounding rockets, historic volumes, a real model of the Ariane 4 used in early wind tunnel tests, as well as models of other launchers – to make a lasting mark on the landscape of science.

1942, lives broken, lives saved

On 11 September 1942, the Nazis conducted a mass roundup of Jews in the Nord and Pas-de-Calais departments of France. At 4am, the Feldgendarmes, aided by the French police and gendarmes, launched their mass arrests in the towns of Lille, Lens, Valenciennes and Douai. Whole families were taken by train to the station at Lille-Fives where their relatives, arrested in Lille and the outlying areas, had been waiting for them since early that morning.

It was while they waited that a massive rescue operation was undertaken by 25 railway workers and some other French citizens, upset at what was happening. On 11 September 1942, a train carrying over 500 Jews from the region set off in the direction of the Malines camp in Belgium. On 15 September, they were deported to Auschwitz. In the spring of 1945, only 15 people came back from the camps.

In memory of these events, La Coupole, in cooperation with the Museum of the Resistance in Bondues and the not-for-profit association Lille-Fives 1942, and with the support of SNCF and Rail et Histoire, is presenting a unique exhibition made up of 21 information panels recounting the tragic fate that befell these families, and the amazing show of solidarity that saved some people from being killed.

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