- Title: A blast from the past: French collectors boast more than 3,000 objects from WWI
- Date: 8th November 2018
- Summary: VARIOUS OF COUPLE LEAFING THROUGH BOOKLET OF WORLD WAR I POSTCARDS
- Embargoed: 22nd November 2018 10:35
- Keywords: WW1 World War One collectors memorabilia France
- Location: BALMA, FRANCE
- City: BALMA, FRANCE
- Country: Canada
- Topics: Life Sciences,Science
- Reuters ID: LVA00295O0PC7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A RE-FILE OF A PREVIEW STORY FOR THE WORLD WAR ONE CENTENARY WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY FILED ON OCTOBER 29 UNDER THE EDIT NUMBER 1148-WW1-CENTURY/FRANCE-COLLECTORS
One step into the home of Chantal and Serge Giudice could transport a visitor back to the World War I battle front.
Posters calling on troops to head to the trenches embellish the walls, and various WWI memorabilia fill the shelves.
The Giudices, from the city of Balma in southwestern France, have been collecting the souvenirs for more than 20 years, a passion stemming from 56-year-old Chantal Giudice's childhood.
"Instead of playing with dolls, I've always been surrounded by uniforms, military equipment," she said. "That passion took over me and it has never left me since."
The couple's collection boasts more than 3,000 pieces, each of which, Chantal says, represents a single infantryman.
Among the pieces are figurines and other works made of objects found in the trenches. But the couple's favourite piece is a warplane figurine created from the remains of a German Zeppelin wrecked during the Battle of Verdun.
"These represent their suffering, and with objects from the War, they succeeded to create marvellous objects, true pieces of art," Chantal said.
Besides the souvenirs, mannequins donning once worn by soldiers and nurses during WWI are scattered around the house, a way to commemorate the violence of the era, Serge Giudice, 66, said.
As France prepares to celebrate the 100th anniversary of WWI on Nov. 11, the Giudices plan to organize an exhibit to share their collection to the public.
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