Catching up on some of the newsletters I receive by email, I clicked on an article by the Independent Traveler.com that sounded interesting, 12 Great Museums You've Never Heard Of. I always like to see if I've been there, done that when I see these lists. I can safely say I'd never been to any of the twelve listed but as I was scrolling through, I came across one that caught my interest--Le Musée de la Contrefaçon or the Museum of Counterfeiting.
Now I was hooked. I had to find out more information than the little paragraph they gave so I went to the website which didn't offer a whole lot more. Basically they said it was a museum showcasing knock offs and counterfeits of art and fashion, etc.
Well, I thought, is it worth visiting? I went to my go-to site for recommendations, TripAdvisor. It was ranked 155 of 177 museums in Paris. At least it wasn't on the bottom but it was based on 25 reviews seven of which rated it poor or terrible and nine rated it good or excellent. The rest, nine, rated it average. One reviewer actually took the time to give a lot of information on the museum while rating it. My kind of reviewer. Here's what I found out:
The museum was actually inaugurated in 1951 by UNIFAB (a union of manufacturers) which was created in 1872 to protect commercial creations and intellectual property. It was done during the presidency of Gaston-Lois Vitton (yup, that one). The museum was originally just for the manufacturers but eventually opened to the public in 1972.
There are the usual things you would expect counterfeiters to try to copy from fashion designers especially but then according to the reviewer (MiaGlobetrotter who says she's from Paris) there are some surprising things like BIC pens. Apparently there are some self tests to see if you can tell the difference between original and fake and, in some cases, it is very difficult.
So will we put it on the list if we return to Paris? Hmmm.