I’ve just been sent a link with some sad news. The Normandy Tank Museum it’s closing its doors just after opening them three years ago, because it failed to attract enough visitors. I’ve heard of this museum a couple of months and wanted to visit in the up-coming future, but with them closing I don’t think I’ll be able to visit and enjoy their collection.
Their collection has more than 40 armoured vehicles, along with thousands of military items and a couple of war planes from World War Two. It’s located in the A10 Airfield, it was an important objective of the Battle of Normandy for the Allies. It was on June 15th 1944 that th Air Engineering Battalion began the constructions and it was completed 4 days later. It’s estimated that over 320,000 men with over 100,000 tons of equipment were welcomed to Normandy using this airfield.
The complete collection, that include tanks, military vehicles, trucks, aircraft and motorcycles, many of which have been restored to working order, will be put up for sale in September.
The museum’s co-founder, Stephane Nerrant said to Bloomberg – “We though the museum would attract more people. The terrorist attacks had a considerable impact on visitor attendance.”, also French refinery-workers strikes that caused fuel shortages in May and June throughout the country also dented ticket sales, he said.
The museum opened in 2013, based on the private collection of founder Patrick Nerrant, Stepahne’s father, who started buying World War II armoured vehicles in the eighties. Together with its big collection, visitors could buy tank rides in vehicles like a FV432 or even on a Sherman tank.
It’s very sad a museum like this will have to close its doors, I really wish I would have heard of this museum earlier and could have visited. Now, it remains to be seen if this vehicles will go to a private collection, never to be seen again, or if we are lucky, another museum will acquire them and put it on display.