Philippe Pierre Brebant reports from Le Havre that one of the two original sets of neon letters displayed between the iconic funnels spelling out F R A N C E on board the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique’s SS FRANCE, was preserved and re-lit. When the ship was transformed into the SS NORWAY in Bremerhaven, the letters were removed and stored in 1979.
Recently, they were fully restored by the Association of the Maritime Museum and Port of Le Havre and lit once more in Le Havre (see video above). The letters will be exhibited in Paris at Musée National de la Marine (The National Maritime Museum) where a huge exhibition covering the 50 year anniversary of the famed ocean liner will run from February 9 through October 23, with over 800 items on display.
The letters will later return to Le Havre along with the exhibition to be presented to the Musée Malraux, facing the entrance of the harbor.
Martin Cox founded MaritimeMatters in the to articulate his fascination with ships, ocean liners and all things nautical.
Cox, a photographer from Southampton, England now lives and works in Los Angeles. Martin designed runs the site, with massive quality contributions from well known travel writer, Peter Knego as well as other trusted sources dedicated to Maritime history.