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SIGHT SEEING » MUSEUMS

Photography Museum

Museum of Photography Port Louis - Vieux Counceil Street Situated in a backstreet in the centre of Port Louis almost facing the old theatre, a little sign shows the way to a collection of inestimable value: the only Photography Museum in Mauritius and the surrounding islands. This private collection can be found next to a little romantic garden in a historical, shuttered cottage. When entering, the little bell at the door rings and lets Madame Marie Noelle Bréville come out of the archives to extend a warm and personal welcome to every visitor. Chronologically the development of the cameras and the photography in Mauritius is shown. It starts with one of the first photographs which have been taken in Mauritius in 1840 and the immense cameras that have been used 150 years ago, and leads to cameras which already look similar to todays analog cameras. Furthermore historical cinéma projectors and the printing machines used for the first newspaper of the southern hemisphere printed in Mauritius in 1773. The camera which has been used in 1860 to take photographs of arriving Indian workers in order to make it easier to catch them in case they run away is also exposed. In addition to that a series of contemporary photographs which are renewed from time to time tops the visit off. In the centre of the exhibition hall is a shelf filled with all kinds of books about photography. Another highlight is treasured in dimmed showcases: Daguerrotypes, the first photographs which have been taken, named after the inventor Jacques Daguerre. Those are copper plates coated with a thin layer of silver, which have been photosensitized with a chemical solution. The image is mirror-inverted and is usually kept in air-tight cases under glass cover. Hidden in commodes underneath is one of the world’s largest collection of postcards which Monsieur Tristan Bréville gladly opens for interested visitors. All kinds of motives that show Mauritius are archived, in addition to that 40 private photo albums. Here you can spend your time through photography for a very special and meaningful voyage throughout Mauritius and its history. The owners Tristan and Marie Noelle Bréville willingly take time to share their broad knowledge with visitors. You may also meet their children Marie Julie and Frederick the youngest museum directors in the world. From an early age, the established photographer Tristan Bréville has been fascinated by photography. Together with his wife Marie Noelle he has been doing research all over the world and has been purchasing those little pieces of Mauritian history to save them from oblivion. Their collection consists of more than 1 Million negatives, more than 5000 glass negatives, 30 danguerrotypes, 9000 postcards and more than 1000 cameras. But the most important thing is meeting a family who has spared no effort to preserve the memory of their country.

 

 

Contact

Tel: 2111705
Add: Vieux Conseil Street, Port Louis
Open: 10.00-15.00  
Closed: Saturday and Sunday

 
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