L'abbaye Royale

Genet-s

A redesign for the exhibition
dedicated to the memory of the prison

We have used the period of our annual closure to redesign the exhibition dedicated to the memory of the prison and the writer Jean GENET. Three new elements have been added to better explain the period when the Royal Abbey was used as a prison.

EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS / “HERE, SILENCE WAS THE RULE”

How did the prisoners live during their incarceration? How did the village accommodate the presence of a prison? What category of prisoner was locked up here and under what conditions? “We lost our identities.” “One can live right by a prison without even thinking about it.” “You had to keep to your place.” Former prisoners, former prison guards and villagers talk about this sometimes forgotten and often difficult past.

THE MODEL / AN EXTRAORDINARY RECORD

Made around 1890 and classified as an historic monument, the scale model on display in the Espace Jean GENET is a unique record. It gives a detailed picture of the architecture of the Royal Abbey during its period as a prison, including the numerous workshops and the high-security section.

OBJECTS / EVIDENCE OF THE PRISON

Shackles, buttons made by prisoners … a collection of objects from our reserves completes the visit, helping to better understand the prison life of the period and the particularities of the prison at Fontevraud.