Cité de l'automobile, 192 Avenue de Colmar, 68051 Mulhouse, France

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  • Insolite & Curieux
  • Famille & Enfant
  • Art & Culture

The city of the automobile Museum has a long turbulent history linked to the family Schlumpf. Hans and Fritz Schlumpf were born in Italy of a Swiss father and a mother Mulhouse. The family settled in Mulhouse in 1906. Their father Carl works as an accountant at the time of the Horticultural Society. But his health deteriorated and he died in August 1918. These son stay in school and engage in life. In 1935 the brothers founded the limited company for the wool industry, buy their first shares of the spinning Malmerspach and take control of various companies in 1940 and in 1956 Erstein and to Roubaix. In 1957, the brothers Schlumpf bought HKD textile factory, a former woolen mill in Mulhouse. Between 1961 and 1963, Fritz Schlumpf bought in secret, antique cars in large numbers from contacts in France, Switzerland, England, Italy, Germany and the United States. His collection of over 200 cars. Among them is Rafael, owner of several Bugatti with whom he worked. This collaboration lasted several years. The rich industrialist buys relentless European cars of the high time by refusing U.S. models. In May 1965 appeared in Alsace the first article revealing the hidden collection. In 1966, the work of development of the collection begins. The aim is to unveil for the first time the public all his outstanding managed to gather a few years. He set some of the warehouses of the factory and creates the "Schlumpf Museum." In 1976 the textile factory is in crisis and workers on strike. The unions denounce "the lack of consultation" and "the diversion of law" practiced by the two companies. The Schlumpf brothers attempt to sell their plants to no avail. So they resigned and fled to Switzerland. They will not return to France. In 1977, the warehouses are occupied by the unions. The "Schlumpf Museum" is re-christened and become "Museum Workers". The Museum entrance is free. Collection, to cover the necessary costs associated with opening and further action is organized at the exit. "I earned 1,400 francs a month, now where's the rest," said one of the many signs placed on the grille of a race car. This is the beginning of the case Schlumpf ... In 1978, under the leadership of Jean Panhard, the collection is classified under the State Council of Historical Monuments, prohibiting any element to leave French territory. In October 1980, the sale of the collection is authorized and the following year, the association owns the National Museum of the Automobile purchases. In July 1982, the National Automobile Museum opened to the public. In 1989, following judgments of the Court of Appeal of Paris, the Musee de l'Automobile is forced to add "Schlumpf Collection" in his name and all documents referring to an item in the collection. In March 2000, after numerous studies, the largest automobile museum in the world opens to the public partly renovated and modernized.

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