Michel Dancoisne-Martineau

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Michel Dancoisne-Martineau

Michel Dancoisne-Martineau (born 5 December 1965) is the Director of the French Domaines of St Helena.


Since 1987, he has been in charge and responsible of the three properties owned by the French Government on St Helena Island. Among other projects, he completed the restoration of the Longwood Gardens according to original documents ; researched in the St. Helena Government archives and collected the original furniture and documents with the intent of restoring Longwood House apartments on its 1821 state.

Since October 1990, he had been Honorary French Consul (Acknowledged & published locally in the St-Helena Government Gazette on 30 June 1991).

From 1987 till 1998, he managed the historical reconstruction of the admiral's apartment at the Briars Pavilion (the first residence of Napoleon on St. Helena Island), completed in 2015;

From 2010 till 2013, he managed, in partnership with the ‘Fondation Napoléon’, the funds raising campaign "Save Longwood House".

In May 2011, he published Chroniques de Sainte-Hélène Atlantique Sud, a collection of accounts describing life on the island by some of the lesser-known characters of the Napoleon legend.

From 2012 till 2014, he was consultant and architect's project manager for the rehabilitation of the National domain at Longwood (case n°7425) Between 2013 - 2016, he was commissioner (together with Emilie Robbe) and member of the scientific Committee for the exhibition "Napoleon at St Helena –at the Conquest of memory from Wednesday 6 April to Sunday 24 July 2016 at the Musée de l'Armée - Hôtel national des Invalides.

At the occasion of the bicentenary of Napoleon on St. Helena 2015-2021, he is publishing a Napoleon’s history on the island of St. Helena in a 12 volumes (bilingual French/English) series.

The story of his life had been published in 2017 in "Je suis le Gardien du Tombeau vide", Flammarion 2017

Within the St. Helena Island Community[edit]

  • In the mid-1990s, together with Dulcie Robertson and Danny Coutts, he contributed to the creation of the Charity "St. Helena Art and Crafts Association".
  • Active member and Chairman of the "RSPCA (St. Helena Branch)" until its dissolution in 2005.
  • Creation of the "[St. Helena] SPCA" in 2005 and chairman of this charity during its first six years of existence.
  • Since its creation in 2002, Michel Dancoisne-Martineau has been member of the Saint-Helena National Trust, holding within this organisation, he is occupying the positions of Committee member and, since 2015, vice-president. *In 2007, he offered to the St. Helena National Trust the Heart-Shaped waterfall valley which has become since then one of the main island attractions.
  • In 2008, he donated of 1.67 acres of land around the Briars to the French Government, to guarantee visitor's access to the Briars.


  • Je suis le Gardien du Tombeau vide – Ed. Flammarion., paris, 2017
  • Saint Helena, an island under siege (15-17 October 1815) [Volume 2 of the 12 volumes series "Napoleon on Saint Helena, the reef of an empire"]. Editions MDM Productions Ltd, 2017
  • Napoleon & St. Helena (1800 – 15 October 1815) [Volume 1 of the 12 volumes series "Napoleon on Saint Helena, the reef of an empire"]. Editions MDM Productions Ltd, 2016
  • Contribution catalogue of the exhibition "Napoleon at St Helena –at the Conquest of memory". Edition Gallimard, 2016
  • In napoleon’s footsteps on St. Helena, the places of exile today – published in 2015 by Saint Helena Napoleonic Heritage Limited
  • A story of masks, - study on the death masks of Napoleon – Magazine of the Souvenir Napoléonien #489, May/June 2011
  • St-Helena island Chronicles, South Atlantic – Ed. Perrin, Paris – 2011
  • Contribution in Napoleon and the Invalides, Collections of the Army’s Museum – Chapter "the two Tombs of Napoleon" – Ed. Musée de l'Armée - Editions de la Revue Napoleon, Paris – 2010
  • the today’s situation of St.Helena, Magazine of the Souvenir Napoléonien #482, February/March 2010
  • Napoleon’s exile on St.Helena – bilingual edition from the “St.Helena Tourism office”, 2008
  • St-Helena island, then & Now – Cultural project and book directed for the St-Helena Education department with the Prince Andrew School students, Cape town, 2007
  • St.Helena, Memories’ Island – director of the publication (together with Thierry Lentz & Bernard Chevallier) – Ed. Fayard, Paris 2005
  • the Napoleonic Sites on St. Helena Island – Ed. South Atlantic, 2002
  • official Poster for the Q5 (500 Years) Celebration of the discovery of St-Helena island made out of 500 portraits of “Saints”
  • St.Helena, 500 Years of History - Photographer in the commemorative leaflet published by the St.Helena Government in 2002
  • Flowers from the Gardens of Napoleon on St-Helena island – 2 volumes of the St.Helena endemics, 1999 (volume 1) & 2000 (volume 2)
  • Guide of the French Properties – Ed. Solomon & Co., St-Helena island, 1995


  • 2016 -Knight of the National Order of Legion of Honor
  • 2015 - Medal of Honor For the French Ministry of Foreign office (Bronze) 2012 - Knight of the National Order of Merit (of France) 2011 - First Empire Prize of the Fondation Napoléon 2005 - Knighthood of Arts And Literature
  • 2012 - Knight of the National Order of Merit (of France)
  • 2011 - First Empire Prize of the Fondation Napoléon
  • 2005 - Knighthood of Arts And Literature by the Ministry of Culture and Communication


External links[edit]