Dedicated to “moulage” – wax models of body parts afflicted with disease – this warehouse of a museum has two spectacular floors of nothing but wax models of diseased flesh.
Opened in 1867, the museum started with drawings and photographs of skin diseases. After experimenting with modeling the diseases using papier-maché, the museum hired a wax fruit modeler by the name of Baretta.
Over the next 40 years the fruit modeler turned disease-crafter turned out over 3500 wax models of pus-filled, boil-covered, rash-afflicted skin. Today the museum contains the most important dermatological wax collection in the world, and for anyone interested in the intersection of art and science or just looking to see a dizzying array of horrible diseases that can happen to one’s skin, this is without question the place to be.
Update February, 2017: The Musee des Moulages is now closed for renovation and restoration work on the building. A sign in front says it will re-open in late 2017, or early 2018.
Know Before You Go
You’ll need to call in advance to make an appointment, then you can buy a ticket at the main modern hospital. Subway: Goncourt, Bus: 46, 75