Manchester je t’aime: Exhibit hails historic bond between city and French town

The unique historical bond between Manchester and the French town of Mézières will be celebrated in a new exhibition, opening at the Central Library next Monday.

This British/French allegiance was forged some hundred years ago after Mézières, now Charleville- Mézières, was devastated by the First World War – it was subsequently adopted by Manchester in 1920.

The exhibition, which aims to explore this remarkable link between the two northern regions, will officially be opened by the Mayor of Charleville- Mézières and Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Sue Cooley

The Lord Mayor said she hopes the exhibit will ‘not only educate but inspire a rejuvenation of the relationship between our two cities.’

MEZIERES MEETS MANCHESTER: The 1921 Lord Mayor’s Pageant was one of the ways Manchester raised funds for the French town

Councillor Cooley said: “The exhibition is a fascinating reminder of the importance of cooperation and a testament to the generosity and empathy of Manchester’s residents.

“It will be an honour to open the exhibition with the Mayor of Charleville- Mézières, whose predecessor was in attendance when Central Library was originally opened back in 1934.”

Ravaged by bombs Mézières was adopted by Manchester under the authority of the then Lord Mayor, Tom Ford.

This led to an outpouring of generosity from the people of Manchester who helped raise funds to rebuild the French town with the Lord Mayor’s Pageant in 1921.

To this day Mézières boasts a Manchester district in honour of the city’s kindness.

Running from the April 13 – May 30, the exhibition will display feature images from the Lord Mayor’s Pageant, archive news cuttings, and a medal presented to Manchester to mark its support.

The official opening is at 6pm on Monday April 13.

Main image courtesy of Antonio Ponte, with thanks.

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