Thursday, November 17, 2011

Magic museum review: Musée de la Magie

Another very old magic prop, which inspired me to make my own modern one.
I went to Germany on a two week business trip in 2009. Since the people at the research institute I was visiting did not want to work during the weekend, I had two days off during my stay. I took the train to Paris and visited the famous sites (the Louvre, where more than half the visitors spoke Japanese; the Eiffel tower; the L'Arc de triomphe; Notre Dame; etc.). Fairly close to Notre Dame, there is a museum of magic called Musée de la Magie, Paris.

2009年の秋にドイツに出張で行った。2週間くらいだったが相手の研究所の人たちが週末に働かなかったので、週末に暇になった。電車に乗って、パリに行った。有名なとこり色々回った(ルーブル美術館・エッフェル塔・ノートルダムとか)。ノートルダムのまあまあ近くにマジック博物館もある:「Musée de la Magie, Paris

Old magic props.
The items in the museum collection is the private collection of a famous French magician, Robert Houdin. There are big props used for large illusion, small items used for close up, old posters for magic shows, a magic shop selling lots of magic props, a small stage where they do magic shows for you, and lots of optical illusions.

マジック博物館にあるものが全部フランスの有名なマジシャンの「Robert Houdin」のプライベートのコレクションだった。イリュージョンの大型のものもあるし、クローズアップ用の小さなものもあるし、昔のマジックショーのチラシもあるし、昔のプロマジシャンのものを見る機会になる。マジックショップも、ステージもある。ステージで短いマジックショーを見ることも入場券に含まれている。

A very old painting showing street magic.

The museum was much smaller than I had expected. It was basically two pretty small rooms with old magic props on display. Seeing the very old props used by professional magicians of years long gone was quite interesting though. There is also a magic show included in the entrance fee. A young French magician did a short salon magic show for me and about 20 other visitors. Most people were French, but since enough were not he spoke both French and English during the show. He did some nice rope magic, some card tricks, and a chop cup routine (if I remember correctly). He was pretty good.


The stage used for the magic show.

There was also a magic shop selling books and magic props (modern ones). They had some interesting things, like gimmick coins looking like Euro coins.


Optical trickery.

The museum also has a large collection of optical illusions and similar things, which I really enjoyed. There is also a large collection of old mechanical (wind-up) toys, that was pretty nice.


The interior of the building is very nice. The walls and doors etc. are beautiful, and the display cases housing all the props are also nice. The stage for the magic show was small but nice. There were three levels of seats so everyone could see what was going on clearly without being blocked by people in front.


Place: kind of out of your way, so in a little inconvenient place. Nothing else of interest nearby, though I had an excellent lunch in a restaurant around the corner.
Price: very cheap
Size: very small
Magic show: a short salon magic show is included, and it was good
Overall impression: if you are in Paris and have time over, do visit. The famous things like the Eiffel tower or Louvre are better, though, so if you do not have time to see all, the magic museum should not be a high priority.


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