Alliance Française returns to Barnes Place


On 3 June 2022, the Ambassador of France Eric Lavertu reopened the Alliance Française de Colombo, at 11 Barnes Place, Colombo 7. The ceremony was conducted by M. Bruno Duparc, Director of Alliance more than 100 guests were in attendance. Foreign secretary Aruni Wijewardena, a former student of the Alliance Française, was the chief guest.

The ambassador related the long journey which led to the recuperation of the historical premise of the Alliance Française after 12 years in exile, and commended the important role in building cultural bridges between both countries. In Colombo, the Alliance Française is now experiencing a brand new start after the entire renovation of its historical premises: new cultural spaces, new classrooms and a fully refurbished library of 16,000 books.

The story of Alliance Française started some 139 years ago, in 1883 in Paris, under the patronage of Louis Pasteur, Jules Verne among others. Since then, the Alliance Française network never ceased to expand, and today, counts 830 Alliance Française establishments in 135 countries. In Sri Lanka, the first Alliance Française was founded in Colombo in 1955, then known as Alliance Française de Ceylan, followed by the Alliance Française de Kandy in 1967, the Alliance Française de Jaffna in 1975 and the Alliance Française de Matara in 1997. The city of Galle also hosts a branch of Alliance Française attached to the Matara Center.

Alliance Française resumes its operation in the best conditions as a French language institute, an official examination center for French tests and diplomas (TEF, DELF-DALF), a multimedia library, a Campus France agency to propose higher education degrees in France, and a cultural center where cinema, exhibitions, conferences, concerts will be held to enhance the promotion of the French language and the cultural dialogue between France and Sri Lanka.