Safeguarding the future of a European cultural monument and a memorial to humanity.


Bourbaki Panorama Association | The Bourbaki Panorama Association was founded in 1979 and is committed to the proper conservation of the unique circular painting that portrays the internment of the French army, who fled to Switzerland in early 1871.


The Franco-Prussian War (1870/71) had ended in defeat for France; Napoleon III had been taken prisoner, the French Third Republic had been declared and the German Empire had been proclaimed.  The French Eastern Army under General Bourbaki put up one last vain struggle in January 1871, before the exhausted soldiers found themselves surrounded by German troops in the French Jura. 


The agreement on the internment of Bourbaki's army set in motion the largest ever intake of refugees into Switzerland.  Within three days, more than 87,000 soldiers crossed the border, were disarmed by the Swiss military, given medical care by the Red Cross, obtained asylum and were looked after by 188 Swiss municipalities.


Visiting the Bourbaki Panorama is like immersing into the Val-de-Travers valley, when Switzerland laid the foundations of its humanitarian and neutral tradition.  This historic event was represented on a 10 x 112 m (originally 14 x 112 m) circular painting by Edouard Castres and his team of helpers, among which young Ferdinand Hodler, in 1881.


Since the reopening in 2000 of the Bourbaki Panorama building and museum, the canvas is in relatively stable condition.  However, it cannot be fully protected against climatic variations and, a recent examination is showing that approximately one-third of the painting requires some work in terms of conservation and restoration. The most urgent measures concern less than 10% of the canvas. 


The Bourbaki Panorama Association is committed to the proper conservation of this work of historic importance, representing a precious memorial to humanity.  Fondation Carene made a contribution of Sfr. 20’000.


Bourbaki Panorama, Löwenplatz 11 in Lucerne


Please find the Commercial Registry extract here

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