One of the best days out we had in Paris was at the glorious Musee des Arts et Metier. This wonderful museum opened right at the end of the 18th Century in what had been an abandoned medieval priory — Saint Martin des Champs. The museum has been expanded, most notably with a more contemporary addition in the 1990s, but the elegant old priory contains some of the most beautiful of the displays under those ornate and vaulted ceilings.
One example of the treasures within is the room that houses a Foucault Pendulum. I know that the former purpose of the space was reverential, but it still maintains an air of ‘sacred space’ in that hushed room with the pendulum right in the center.
When we were there, I noted that the glass table which has the pendulum suspended above it and the glossy flooring all around it appeared to be quite contemporary. That was a bit of a surprise. But as I was doing the research for this article, the information that I discovered explained all of that.
In 2010, the cable that held the pendulum snapped, damaging it badly and shattering the ancient marble floor beneath it. So the more contemporary appearance is a result of the reconstruction in the museum.
All of the photos above are available in my ZENFOLIO PORTFOLIO You may find them in the Portfolio tab under FRANCE — then under PARIS.
©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
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