Everyone! The Victor Hugo Centre will be fully accessible and inclusive, designed to appeal to all ages. It will be a gateway attraction that encourages islanders to explore and visitors to discover Guernsey through the life and works of Victor Hugo. We will offer a year-round, publicly accessible Victor Hugo experience, together with multi-purpose spaces, exhibition and performance areas and a study centre. The Centre will be a gathering place for the local community as well as being an international destination.
The Centre is a significant project for Victor Hugo’s legacy, and for Guernsey’s cultural and social life and its presence in the world. The project has already gained substantial support from the island’s government, the States of Guernsey, which has agreed in principle to provide the building. We are now looking for funding from private individuals and families, charitable foundations and trusts, company sponsors and corporate partnerships, and the general public. If you are interested in finding out more about sponsorship and funding opportunities please CONTACT US.
Once open the Centre will be self-sustaining.
In addition, we also welcome non-financial assistance in the form of skills, talents and ideas, as well as people simply telling relatives, friends and colleagues about the project. If you would like to get involved or find out more please CONTACT US.
The former States Offices building (Visitor Information Centre) is an ideal place to house the Victor Hugo Centre. With its central location, easily accessible to the ferry terminal and visiting cruise ships, the Centre will be a fantastic addition to Guernsey’s tourism offering on the seafront. Hugo was inspired by Guernsey’s ever-changing seascape, and during his time in Guernsey his imagination was fired by his surroundings. The Visitor Information Centre occupies a portion of the building, and its location in the current building or elsewhere is dependent on the future plans of the States.
Victor Hugo chose to live in Guernsey for 15 years during his exile from France. During this time, Guernsey became Hugo’s home. Describing the island as the “rock of hospitality and freedom”, Hugo took inspiration from his surroundings and channeled it into many of his greatest works including novels, poetry, polemics and paintings. Hugo was inspired by the island’s landscape, its people and the dramatic and ever-changing sea. While on the island he experienced a renaissance, an outpouring of creativity and was able to pen many of his famous novels and poetry collections here including Les Misérables, and his Guernsey novel, Toilers of the Sea.
Hugo also chose to return to the island to write his final novel, Quatre Vingt Treize, reinforcing his love for the island and the inspiration he found here.
Hugo connected deeply with Guernsey’s community; he was able to talk to and be with local people in a way that he had not previously done in Paris. He drew insights and inspiration from these interactions, which enriched his stories and helped to change his thinking.
Highlighting the connection between Hugo and the island through the planned Centre will create a unique asset for Guernsey.
The Victor Hugo Centre will tell the story about the deep connection between the man and the island. It will complement the museums of the Place des Vosges in Paris (Victor Hugo’s residence in Paris), Besançon (his birthplace) and Villequier (where his daughter died), which all focus on different periods and aspects of his life. The Victor Hugo Centre will also be the only museum in English, making the life and work of the great man accessible to a global audience.
There will be an entry fee to the Museum and Interpretation Centre, as there is with other similar venues in Guernsey such as Castle Cornet, the Guernsey Museum and Hauteville House itself. However there will be free access to the ground floor where people can meet for coffee etc, and although there may be a charge for some exhibitions and events on this floor, many are also likely to have free entry. The Centre will be accessible and open to everyone, and there will be concessionary fees or free entry for young people, school parties and pensioners. There will also be the opportunity to purchase discounted season tickets.
We believe the Centre will have many benefits for Guernsey and will be used as a community space as well as an international destination.There will be a multi-purpose space to cultivate and showcase local artistic activity of all kinds and host visiting exhibitions. The flexible space will champion our vigorous creative community who draw inspiration from Guernsey as Victor Hugo once did.
The Centre will also focus outwards, forging connections with and drawing talent from similar institutions around the world. The Victor Hugo Centre in Guernsey will become known internationally, alongside other centres including Maison de Victor Hugo in Paris, France and Casa Victor Hugo in Havana, Cuba which celebrate Hugo’s life; Guernsey’s role in Hugo’s life will be recognised and celebrated on a global stage.
The Centre will help to facilitate cultural diplomacy, helping the island to forge links with a variety of institutions and organisations, drawing in a wide circle of individuals and groups committed to the promotion of human rights and individual freedoms, as well as Hugo’s literary and artistic legacy.
The Victor Hugo Centre is an opportunity for Guernsey to enhance its cultural brand and build an exemplary tourism attraction which will invite the world to explore the island that enchanted the man himself. Providing educational, cultural, tourism and economic benefits for Guernsey, the Centre will tap into Victor Hugo’s global recognition and increase awareness of Guernsey as an inspiring and attractive island.
The Centre will honour Guernsey’s past, celebrate the present and invest in its future. As well as boosting our tourism brand, it will provide a multi-purpose venue to cultivate and showcase local artistic activity, including music recitals, poetry readings, film, photography and dance as well as temporary and visiting exhibitions.
Our team includes a highly experienced and dedicated board of six directors, and we are working with internationally recognised designers Casson Mann, and award-winning local practices DLM Architects and engineers Dorey Lyle & Ashman.
The project is also supported by a group of local ambassadors. Everyone involved in the project is passionate about Victor Hugo’s work, his legacy, and creating an exemplary institution for the local and global community to enjoy.