Locating Difference in Paris Museums
There is nothing novel in thinking about the city of Paris as a kind of museum, nor in paying attention to the many museums the city is known for. Wikipedia has the most extensive listing of such institutions, at 130; the Paris Museum Pass provides free access to over 50, allowing cardholders to jump the lines at all the top attractions and make whirlwind tours of art, history, science, and splendour, as well as sewers and crypts beneath the city streets. These sites tell many stories, offering diverse perspectives, engaging in various conversations about the city and the nation, though no single museum takes on either of these subjects directly. This presentation examines some of these stories, but more than focusing on individual exhibitions or institutions, it explores how these are situated in dialogue through an urban geography that establishes a framework mirroring a dominant image of French national society both expressing and containing difference within it.