Exhibition: Tromelin: The Island of the Forgotten Slaves


From 17 October 2015 to 30 April 2016

Château des ducs de Bretagne

Musée d’histoire de Nantes

Developed in collaboration with the GRAN (Group Recherche en Archéologie Navale) and the INRAP (Institut National de Recherche Archéologique Préventive), this exhibition aims at recalling an important period of maritime history along with the question of slavery and slave-trading in the Indian Ocean.

The story of the French East India Company’s ship Utile, which  washed up on the Île de Sable (today: Tromelin Island – a 1 km2 desert isle off the coast of Madagascar) on July 31st 1761 is illustrated throughout the exhibition. On the vessel there were 160 Malagasy slaves intended to be sold to Île de France (now Mauritius). The crew returned to Madagascar on a raft, leaving 80 slaves on the island, with the promise to return and rescue them. Only fifteen years later, on November 29th 1776, did the ensign and future knight, Tromelin, return at the helm of the corvette La Dauphine. He rescued the eight surviving slaves: seven women and one eight-month child.

Scientific curators: Max Guérout, Groupe de Recherche en Archéologie Navale et Thomas Romon, Institut national de recherches archéologiques préventives
Curator: Pierre Chotard – musée d’histoire de Nantes

This exhibition, a co-production with INRAP, has received financial support from the Ministry of Overseas Affairs

More information can be found here.


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