paris: orient express

© institut du monde arabe

although we're quite content with the many attributes and possibilities of the modern day and age, there are a few indulgences from bygone eras we would have loved to check out. the legendary orient express ranks high on that list. the name of a scheduled passenger train service originally operated by the compagnie internationale des wagons-lits, it ran from 1883 to 2009. the original service operated between paris and istanbul, but this route changed a few times in later years. currently on at the institut du monde arabe in paris - housed in a magnificent building by architect jean nouvel which itself is well worth a visit - is the exhibition il était une fois l'orient express. presented in collab with sncf, the show explores the context of this highly luxurious train service which has triggered the imagination of many for many decades. a special scenography has been developed that mimics the platform of a train station and train carriages so visitors can experience the luxury and comfort that was so emblematic of this train service. film screenings feature the lavish travel circumstances of famous passengers, while a separate section of the exhibition presents a wide range of archival objects, documents and posters, and photographs related to traveling on this train [on through aug 31]. location: institut du monde arabe, 1 rue des fossés st.-bernard [quartier latin].

© institut du monde arabe