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Published May 16, 2014

The original 1862 manuscript of Les Misérables, a French national treasure, is leaving Europe for the first time ever to be exhibited exclusively at the State Library of Victoria.

The 945 page manuscript will be travelling from Paris to Dubai in its own lie-flat Business Class seat on board Emirates Airline, a major exhibition partner, in time to be exhibited in Victor Hugo: Les Misérables From Page to Stage, a world-first exhibition opening on July 17.

Minister for the Arts, Heidi Victoria, said: “The loan of this manuscript to Melbourne is an act of enormous trust and generosity on behalf of the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the French people.”

State Library of Victoria CEO and State Librarian Sue Roberts said it is an “amazing coup”, and reiterated the fact that the “remarkable manuscript has never travelled outside of Europe.”

Since 1862, Les Misérables has been translated into 20 languages, has been adapted for cinema at least 50 times (including the 2012, Tom Hooper-directed film), and is the foundation for three major musical adaptions, including the Cameron Mackintosh production of Boubil and Schönberg’s Les Misérables which is one of the most popular musicals of all time.

This exhibition coincides with the Australian premiere of Cameron Mackintosh’s Les Misérables premiering at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne, in June 2014.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 concession and $42 for families, and are on sale now through Ticketek. For more information, visit victorhugoexhibition.com.au.

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