The Museum of the Police Prefecture in Paris scares off tourists a little with its name. But there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of - you just need to walk past the policeman who is standing near the entrance and go to the officer on duty in the lobby. It is noteworthy that it simultaneously registers the victims. Therefore, it is quite possible that you need to stand in the same queue with them.
The Museum of the Police Prefecture occupies a relatively large area - 530m². More than 2100 exhibits are presented at the stands of the museum. They are all connected in some way with the history and work of the Paris police.
It begins as far back as 1900. This was the time when the exhibition, which was held here, was an exhibition of documents from the archives of the local police prefecture. A little later, already in 1909, following the initiative of the prefect of the Paris police - Louis Lepin (1846-1933), a permanent museum was created.
The most important, the main part of the museum's expositions is devoted to the history of the fight against crime throughout France from the 17th century to the end of the last century. Also, the museum presents numerous exhibits of the late time, even to the present day. Here is information that it was Napoleon who in 1800 became the creator of the police prefecture in France.
All halls of the museum are competently and accurately divided partly according to themes and historical eras. Many of the items and documents presented are striking in their exclusivity and wealth. There are museum showcases displaying paintings, manuscripts, posters with prescriptions that look like playbills, fingerprints of the most famous intruders, etc. Also here you will see many wax figures, which are dressed in police uniforms from different eras.
The exposition presents the originals of the instruments of crime, evidence, photographs and criminal cases. For example, a cunning device that allowed intruders to pull money from the pockets of merchants and residents is considered a beloved exhibit.
There are quite a few exhibits of murder weapons that were used by lawbreakers and which were seized by the Parisian police. It is noteworthy that the museum presents a real guillotine, with the help of which the famous French villains and criminals were executed.
Investigator Alphonse Bertillon
This is a very curious part of the exposition, which is dedicated only to the famous investigator at that time. Bertillon is considered the creator of the world's first effective method of personal identification using biometric parameters. This method was named after its inventor - bertillonage. This method was first used by the creator himself in 1902 to solve the murder of the servant of a famous Parisian dentist. For more than 100 years, his method of accurately photographing criminals in profile, in full face, has helped law enforcement officers fight crime in many countries.
This system remained in demand until the British Francis Galton and William Herschel discovered fingerprinting, which is called fingerprint identification, at the beginning of the last century.
Many interesting exhibits and documents that cannot fit in the museum are kept in the library and in the archives of the police commissariat. But if you have a desire, you can get acquainted with them at any time by making a separate request.
The magnificent expositions of the museum also feature the pistol of the Russian emigrant Pavel Gorgulov. He is known for assassinating French President Paul Doumer at the opening of the famous book fair in 1932. It also contains the famous book "The Battle" of the writer Claude Farure, decorated with his personal autograph. Gorgulov bought this book at a book fair, and the author signed his autograph just a minute before the assassination of the president.
Unique document from the time of Napoleon
The museum presents a document about a fire in 1810 at the Austrian embassy. It happened during a ball held in honor of Napoleon's marriage to Marie-Louise of Austria. At that moment, in a panic, a sword decorated with expensive diamonds was stolen from Alexander Kurakin, the Russian ambassador.
Address: 4 Rue de la Montagne Sainte Genevieve, Paris 75005
Phone: + 33 1 44 41 52 50
Metro: Maubert - Mutualité
Время работы: 10:00–12:30, 14:00–18:00
- Adult: free