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Napoleon's flagship begins journey home

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By Euronews
Napoleon's flagship begins journey home

A boat built by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1810 to inspect his imperial fleet has been partly dismantled so that it can be returned to its old home.

The 18-metre vessel has been on display at the National Naval Museum in Paris since World War II. It was moved from Brest on the coast of Brittany in 1943 to escape allied bombing raids.

The boat’s ornate crown had to be removed in a delicate operation so it can be transported back to its former home.

Using chains attached to scaffolding, workers carefully lifted the crown and placed it on a cross of wooden beams, before slowly depositing in on the floor of the museum, just across the Seine river from the Eiffel Tower.

The boat is set to undergo a full restoration before going on display in Brest in late 2019.

A huge hole will have to be knocked through one of the museum's outer walls to remove the vessel - the same procedure used to get it inside when it was brought from Brest.

Museum spokeswoman Annie Madet-Vache said: "To keep it safe they decided to transfer it to Paris to avoid the bombings."