Musée de la Préfecture de Police

Latin Quarter and south Paris Free
The police museum is housed in a working commissariat, which makes for a slightly intimidating entry procedure. You need to walk boldly past the police officer standing guard outside and up the steps to the lobby, where you have to ask at the reception booth to be let in - queuing, if necessary, with locals there on other, but usually police-related, errands. The museum is on the second floor; start from the Accueil and work your way clockwise.

None of the displays is labelled in English (though there is a bilingual booklet), and a handful are not labelled at all; but if you have basic French and any sort of interest in criminology, this extensive collection is well worth seeing. It starts in the early 17th century and runs to the Occupation, via the founding of the Préfecture de Police by Napoleon in 1800. Exhibits include a prison register open at the entry for Ravaillac, assassin of Henri IV; a section on the Anarchist bombings of the 1890s; the automatic pistol used to assassinate President Doumer in 1932; a blood-chilling collection of murder weapons - hammers, ice picks and knives; sections on serial killers Landru and Petiot; and less dangerous items, such as a gadget used to snag banknotes from the apron pockets of market sellers.
Venue name: Musée de la Préfecture de Police
Address: 4 rue de la Montagne Sainte-Geneviève
5e
Paris

Opening hours: 9am-5pm Mon-Fri; 10am-5pm Sat
Price: free
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