Back to projects

Trésor de Mezières

Creation of a treasure of sacred art

J. Ponsard et L. Ohnet, 1878

The municipality of Charleville-Mezieres has commissioned the agency François Chatillon Architect, to design an exhibition space in the Eastern sacristy of the Basilica of Mezieres Notre-Dame de l’Esperance, in order to present to the public the major pieces that make up the Treasury of Mézières. 71 works have been selected. They make it possible to highlight the religious art in the Ardennes.


This gathering was thus wanted for reasons of safety and conservation, but also in order to deepen our knowledge on this sacred art before it disappears.


The project of development of the Eastern sacristy also includes work on the clos and the cover of the sacristy, including the revision of the frames and the complete restoration of slate blankets purple. The exterior siding was cleaned and the carved elements consolidated. The bays have received new diamond glass. Barrages completed by fences placed on frames, ensure the safety of the place.




The sacristy and the connecting gallery are buildings of the last quarter of the XIXth century of high quality. Their style remained faithful to that of the basilica, integrating all the vocabulary of the sixteenth century for exteriors. In terms of interiors, the molded coffered ceilings perfectly match the paneled wood panels that liven up all spaces. These developments date back to the early twentieth century.


The spirit of the place has been preserved, retaining and adapting the molded panels at the level of the West Sacristy and the entrance to the sacristy, while freeing up space in the building of the Treasury room and the gallery.


These adaptations were necessary to ensure good conditions of reception of the public, limited to 19 people in relation to the security conditions as well as the standards of accessibility.


The lobby forms the anti-room project. It includes all the service areas including electrical cabinets, the sound of the basilica, a household and sanitary facilities.


The access to the gallery is closed by a wrought iron gate openwork, leaving the view unobstructed works displayed in the windows placed between the twin bays. At the end of the gallery stands, in a hanging window, a Madonna with Child, which encourages the curious to extend his visit to the Treasury Room, whose entrance is placed in symmetry with that of the West Sacristy. In the center of the room a central island hosts the precious reliquaries and the processional cross of Blanchefosse. Two windows framing the large glass canopy South, group the objects of goldsmithery, while the last showcase highlights the stone sculptures. A chapier, placed in the alcove presents the chasubles selected in the Inventory of the Deposition of Sacred Art of the Ardennes. Light-sensitive textiles are stored in alternately sealed and glazed drawers. The painting of the Nativity overlooks the whole, while the six high reliefs of the old altarpiece of St. Morel, are hung on the eastern wall of the room.


The works are presented in sealed windows, equipped with a system integrated alarm and hygrometric control. The bases are covered with lacquered MDF panels, and a system of adjustable and adjustable LEDs, provide integrated lighting. Each sculpture and object of goldsmithing takes place either on a base or a glass shelf. Their layout respects their geographical origin, such as all the pieces that come from the chapel of Auflance and some works of neighboring parishes.


Finally, to facilitate the visit and inform the visitor, signs in the form of explanatory panels and cartels are placed at the entrance to the exhibition area and in each room to better understand the works on display.

  • LocationVille de Charleville-Mézières
  • Maître d’ouvrageFrançois Chatillon Architecte
  • Calendar2015/2018
  • Cost / Surface500.000 € / 70m²