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Keeping Saint George and the Dragon alive

Situated at the heart of the City of Mons, behind the hôtel de ville (town hall), the old pawnbroker's has undergone major restoration in recent years, to prepare it to host the future interpretative centre of Saint George and the Dragon, to be named the Musée du Doudou (Doudou Museum).

From the originality of the Ducasse de Mons festival to the legend of Saint George, blending reality and imagination, this centre will endeavour to aid in understanding and to emphasise the different aspects of this universal, centuries-old story.

The staging of the museum's exhibits, thanks to the varied use of technology to aid in conveying information, and the selection of objects taken from local Mons collections, will endeavour to recount and interpret the content of this intangible heritage. The different spaces of the exhibition are structured around a central theme: Saint George and Dragon, between the imaginary and reality.

Visitors will be invited on a journey through space and time: the time of the Ducasse festival and the space of the city – what does the festival involve and where does it take place in the city? Informative, immersive and in some cases interactive equipment, mainly designed to benefit from the latest technology, will mark the route through the museum, providing visitors with the keys to understanding the great "Mons mystery". We will also see a number of precious exhibits, with real participation by local Mons residents.

The visit will follow a simple plan (from civil to religious, from rite to legend, from specific to general) and will be enhanced by an array of equipment serving a variety of functions. We will endeavour to emphasise the ubiquity in practically all civilisations of the blueprint for legends consisting of a hero killing a monster. In Hainaut, it takes the form of Saint George defeating the dragon.

(c) S. Santarelli

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