Western Australia’s French connection explored as 200-year-old artefacts show Napoleon’s plans

Original article by Briana Shepherd
abc.net.au – Page: Online : 13-Sep-18

Western Australia’s Maritime Museum is currently displaying artefacts from two French expeditions in the early part of the 19th century. The first, which was led by Nicolas Baudin and commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte, reached WA in 1801. It was labelled a "voyage of scientific discovery", but Diana Jones, the museum’s executive director of collections and research, suggests that there was a "colonial aspect" to the expedition. Dr Michael McCarthy, the museum’s curator of maritime archaeology, says many people are unaware that the French claimed WA in 1772, just two years after James Cook claimed New South Wales for the British.


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