Wallonia 2003

Simenon Year in Liege Country

text only version

Liege Country prepares itself...

www.simenon2003.be is another channel to obtain information

To learn more about the event consult the web site of operation « Wallonia 2003, Simenon Year in Liege Country ». A large variety of information will be provided both on Georges Simenon's life and on his works. The present publication will be included as well as the first issue published last February. The original documents in French as well as the translations in English, German and Dutch will be available. Also, as of December 2002, after its official presentation, the detailed programme of the operation « Wallonia 2003, Simenon Year in Liege Country » will be on the web site (www.simenon2003.be) and translated in a free brochure.

A promising evening

It's in the magnificent philharmonic hall of Liege that eight hundred interested people convened on 13 February 2002 to partake in a great moment in the life of Liege: the first presentation of the Simenon Year, i.e. the general outlines and the four major events represented by the main exhibition, the Simenon circuit, the entry of Simenon in the La Pléiade library (Galimard) and the Musical that the ORW (Opera Royal of Wallonia) will dedicate to the Parisian period of the father of Maigret. Some hours earlier a press conference was held in the presence of some fifty journalists in the Château de Colonster, which houses the Simenon fund. The evening held in the presence of the author's son, John Simenon, was a success to the unanimous assembly whose initial curiosity made place to an enthusiasm and impatience to live the grand moments of 2003.

Without them this operation would not be possible

Through this publication the operational Committee of « Wallonia 2003, Simenon Year in Liege Country » wishes once again to thank the institutions, the firms and companies (named on page 1) who accepted to financially support this operation that highlights, if still necessary, that ambitious results can be achieved as soon as those who are the lifeblood of Liege unite to show that the dynamism of Liege is once again proven.

Our operation in a few words

This operation is a joint venture between the Province, the City and the University of Liege. It's the governor of the province, Mr. Paul Bolland who chairs the operational Committee. The city's mayor, Mr. Willy Demeyer, the chief education officer of the University, Mr. Willy Legros, as well as the permanent provincial representatives, André Gilles and Georges Pire, are the four Vice-Presidents. The Provincial Clerk, Mr Roger Jeunhomme, is the Secretary-General and Treasurer.

Our contact:
12, rue des Prémontrés, B-4000 Liège
Tél.: +32 (0)4 237 91 56 or 58
Fax: + 32 (0)4 237 91 55
E-mail: simenon2003@prov-liege.be

A great friend for Tchantches

After the appearance on 14 July of Marianne, a new giant next to the traditional Tchantches and Nanesse, a large public had the pleasure of seeing during the 15 August procession in Outremeuse a new character heralding the coming Simenon year. It was of course the famous Commissaire Jules Maigret. It's under a scorching sun and in the presence of John Simenon, Honorary president of operation « Wallonia 2003, Simenon Year in Liege Country » that the giant Maigret, built by the local control services of the city of Liege, took his first steps through the City in front of a compact and satisfied crowd. While waiting for his future outings one can already state that all his friends of Liege have definitely adopted the « Commissaire » .

World production of the ORW : « Simenon and Joséphine »

World production of the ORW (Opera Royal de Wallonie): « Simenon and Josephine» . In September 2003 the Royal Opera of Wallonia, Lyric Centre of the French speaking Community will present in Liege a spectacular musical comedy named: « Simenon and Josephine » . It will of course be an original play relating amongst others the Paris of the late twenties, period during which Georges Simenon, then a promising author met and loved the splendid captain of chorus girls, Josephine Baker, at the height of her glory. This show will be performed on 25,26,27,28 and 30 September 2003 in the superb music hall of the Forum.

« Simenon... 1 century » exhibition

Needless to say that the « Simenon…1 century » exhibition will be an original creation in three dimensions that should attract large numbers during many months. It is naturally not by accident that the operational Committee of « Wallonia 2003, Simenon Year in Liege Country » decided that this year commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the birth of Maigret's father should symbolically start with the inauguration of this major exhibition of international standing.


Set in the heart of Liege, on the Tivoli space, between the Place Saint-Lambert and the Place du Marché, this exhibition will be open from Friday 14 February to the end of summer 2003. It's the « EuroCulture Production » company, already well known and appreciated for the success of its previous achievements, of which, « I don't like culture » and « I was 20 in 45 », that was chosen to create and mount this important exhibition. It is to be one of the cornerstones of operation « Wallonia 2003, Simenon Year in Liege Country » that will consist in a rich and varied programme of tens of cultural and tourist events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the authors' birth in Liege.

This exhibition will most certainly obtain the international praise that it deserves for its pedagogical simplicity and the scientific rigor wanted by its creator, Jeannot Kupper and his team at EuroCulture Production. It will offer various thematic approaches of the novelist and his work, but also literary parallels that will situate the father of the famous Commissaire Maigret in relation to the greatest contemporary writers. This exhibition will help the visitor to better grasp Georges Simenon, the man. In other words, it will offer keys to understanding Simenon. Using a well-liked technique, the public will be asked to wander in an interactive manner through the three-dimensional décor, which awakes curiosity but which most of all creates the famous atmospheres that Simenon described so well in his novels. Without spoiling the charm of an exhibition that needs in any case to be seen and felt by each individual, it can be mentioned that the visitors will stroll for two hours through a railway station concourse, a ships corridor, a police station, a library, a film set, a writers office, a platform alongside which a barge has berthed. All these decors chosen from the world of Simenon give us the wish to pace up and down them to discover their smallest details. Other major themes in the understanding of Simenon's works, of which the importance of the authors birthplace for example, will not be neglected. This will provide an evident link between the end of the exhibition and the start of the city tourist circuit « In the footsteps of Simenon », which will be renovated for the occasion.

Practical information:
From Friday 14 February to Sunday 28 September 2003.
OPENING TIMES: daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Fridays till 7 p.m.)
ENTRANCE FREE: € 9.00 per person, € 7.00 per visitor in a group of minimum 20 people, € 5.50 per person in school groups.

EuroCulture Production
Tel: +32(o)2 410 52 12
Fax: +32(o)2 513 55 62
E-mail: eurocltr@skynet.be

Tourist circuit « In the footsteps of Georges Simenon »

Discover Simenon and grasp his novelistic world by scouring the streets of Liege, could seem a daring ambition. However, all the specialists of Simenon's works are in agreement: Liege, his birthplace, transpires directly or indirectly in most of his novels. A tourist itinerary had already been created in 1983, it will be thoroughly renovated using techniques in favour with the general public such as audio guiding. Exceptionally and only in 2003 it will include the visit of significant places such as the home in which the novelist was born, « la caque »,... and the chapel of the Bavière Hospital where he was once an alter boy.

Initially inaugurated in 1983, the tourist circuit dedicated to the Liege of Georges Simenon is really going to live a rebirth at the opening of year 2003. A new means of signalling will be installed and will be integrated in the new tourist signalling being set up in the city. Informative panels and directional signposts direct the tourist to the most remarkable sites of tourist interest. The walk following in the footsteps of the renowned novelist will be lined with a new signage, explanatory panels in four languages on most of the buildings that counted in his life in Liege as well as « directional studs» . An audio-guided walk as well as a new brochure will be available for individual visitors. A brand new commentary has been co-produced by the Simenon specialists that are Michel Lemoine and Jean-Denis Boussart. Some places will exceptionally be open to visits, such as the chapel of Bavière where little Georges was an altar boy and the floor where he was born in the house of the « Rue Léopold ». Also at last open to visits, the « caque » site that has become a myth due to the tragic episode of the « Pendu de St-Pholien » (the St-Pholien hanging). This place where Simenon rejoined artists of Liege attracted by a Bohemian lifestyle will be fitted and a small exhibition will be set up. These places are only accessible if accompanied by a guide. A walk through the Liege of the opening of the century as seen through the eyes of its most illustrious child... that one should not miss.

TOURIST CIRCUIT In the footsteps of Georges Simenon
Practical information:
As from Saturday 15 February 2003. The help of an audio guide for the visit costs € 5.00 per individual. School groups and groups of 20 people minimum will pay € 4.00 per person for an official city guide. All further information can be obtained at:
Echevinat du Tourisme, de l'Environnement et de la Qualité de Vie De la Ville de Liège, En Féronstrée, 94, 4000 - LIEGE
Tel: +32(0)4 221 92 55
Fax: +32(0)4 221 92 56