Rue Marie et Joseph Hackin

Rue Marie et Joseph Hackin

Working partner of her husband, the orientalist and archaeologist Joseph Hackin
Second lieutenant of the Free French Women's Corps
Birth year
Year of death
Places of residence
Rombas, Ars-sur-Moselle, Paris - France ¦ Tokyo - Japan ¦ Afghanistan

Who is she?

Marie was born on 7 September 1905, the third of five children, in Rombas in the German-annexed Moselle. Her father, Jean Parmentier, a Luxembourger, had emigrated there in 1894 to find a job as a sorting supervisor.

Marie went to school in Rombas before the family moved to Ars-sur-Moselle in 1924 where Jean Parmentier became a café owner. Marie, nicknamed Ria, became a free auditor at the École du Louvre in Paris and in September 1928 she married Joseph Hackin, an archaeologist and philologist who had been curator at the Musée Guimet since 1923. From then on, she was closely associated with her husband's research, both in the context of his missions in the East and in his scientific work at the Guimet Museum.

In 1929 and 1930, with Joseph, Ria went to Afghanistan for the first time as part of the French Archaeological Delegation in Afghanistan (DAFA). In 1930, she moved to Tokyo where her husband ran the Franco-Japanese House.

From 1934, the Hackins began their excavation missions in Afghanistan. In particular, Ria takes over -under the direction of her husband- one of the two excavation sites at Begram, 60 km from Kabul, in 1937. It was she who brought the "Begram treasure" to light. Ria films, first in black and white and then in colour, the archaeological sites and the Afghan landscapes. She presented this documentary film in Luxembourg on 14 November 1938 after accompanying Joseph to Sweden, Berlin and Amsterdam for a series of conferences.

In September 1939, Joseph Hackin was mobilised as a captain, then as a commander, attached to the French Legation in Kabul. Refusing the armistice, after having sent a message of support to General de Gaulle on 5 July 1940, the Hackins joined London in October 1940.

Marie took part in the setting up of the Free French Women's Corps in which she served as a second lieutenant, with the first volunteers from 7 November. She received military training at the OCTU (Officer Cadet Training Unit).

She was appointed to accompany her husband, who was in charge of the Department of External Affairs, on a long mission to Asia and embarked on 20 February 1941. The freighter carrying them, the Jonathan Holt, was torpedoed on 24 February 1941. The Hackins disappeared at sea, between Scotland and the Faroe Islands.

Marie was posthumously awarded several decorations, including the Croix de Guerre 1939/45 with palm and the Médaille Commémorative 39-45. The Musée national d'histoire et d'art du Luxembourg, in collaboration with the Musée Guimet, organised the exhibition "Joseph and Ria Hackin, a couple of Luxembourg origin in the service of Asian arts and France" in 1988.


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