Revolutionaries and members of royalty presented in a renovated Carnavalet museum

Treasures spanning thousands of years of Paris history will be re-aired in the city from next week, with French Revolutionary pistols displayed alongside a shoe believed to have been lost in flight by the guillotined Queen Marie -Antoinette.

Long prized by tourists as an introduction to Paris and its tumultuous past, the Carnavalet museum is expected to reopen after four years of renovations at a time when international travel is still largely suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Director Valérie Guillaume said Reuters the museum, run by the City of Paris, is expected to quickly revert to pre-Covid-19 models once restrictions are relaxed, with foreign visitors making up around half of the public.

The € 58 million ($ 71 million) renovation involved an extension of the exhibition space, including opening underground vaults. The building, in the Marais district, dates from the 16th century and became a museum in 1880.

It will now house 625,000 works – many of which came out of storage for the first time – and which include paintings, toiletries and tea sets used by Napoleon, the first photos of the Eiffel Tower and gold coins. from the 2nd century BC.

Other top attractions include a canoe from the Neolithic era and a 12th-century gargoyle at Notre Dame Cathedral.

Visitors can also stroll through a reconstruction of the room of the writer Marcel Proust, with its real furniture and its coat on display.

Many museums in France began to reopen on May 19 after being locked up since last October due to the pandemic, forcing some exhibits to close earlier.

The Carnavalet also hopes to retain its appeal to locals.

“This is the home of the Parisians,” said architect François Roussillon, who designed the redesign. “It’s a museum you can live in, kind of like going to a friend’s house for dinner. You can go eat this someday, go back and eat that.”

Thelma J. Longworth

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