Last week I had a couple of days in Paris and took the opportunity to visit my favourite museum there, the Musée des arts et métiers. This is similar to the Science Museum in London, or at least how that museum was before the displays were ravaged by the museum display specialists.
My particular reason for visiting was to see the present temporary exhibition which is on the development of television in France. This follows up on an excellent exhibition which I saw a couple of years ago on the history of radio broadcasting. The television exhibition tells the story from mechanical television right up to the present day using a carefully selected range of exhibits displayed in three groups down the centre of the hall. Interestingly the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 and broadcast via Eurovision appears to have been a substantial factor in the growth of French broadcasting in the 1950s just as it was in the UK. The walls of the hall are devoted to showing how the various genres of television broadcasting have changed since WW2 and there are even reproductions of the various testcards used over the years. There are many video extracts too, many of which will be familiar to British viewers as they were also sold and dubbed into French, including the likes of Starsky and Hutch!
The exhibition is on until 8 March 2015. The museum website is http://www.arts-et-metiers.net Entry to the exhibition alone is 5.50€, or 7.50€ for both the exhibition and the main museum which well worth a visit anyway and which costs 6.50€ alone. The permanent exhibition does have some labelling in English and there is an English audioguide but the temporary exhibition is labelled solely in French so some knowledge of the language would help. There is supposed to be an online catalogue (for Ipad) which looks to be comprehensive but I couldn't get the link to work just now.