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Photo courtesy of MMC Lyon
Tiny wonders.
MIGNON

Photos: A French museum has a collection of the most incredibly realistic miniature settings

By Annalisa Merelli

Master miniaturist Dan Ohlmann made his first collection of miniature furniture in 1985 and gained fame shortly after, thanks to an hyper-realistic version of the famous Parisian restaurant Maxim’s. His success started a career: he is now not only an expert creator of miniatures but also the curator of one of the world’s most amazing miniature collections.

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Maxim’s de Paris, by Dan Ohlmann

What began as a studio to create miniatures, called Palais de la Miniature (miniature palace), expanded into a collection of hundreds of miniatures. Since 2005, it has become an actual museum, housed in a gorgeous historic building in Lyon, the 16th century Maison des Avocats (lawyers’ house)—a UNESCO heritage site and in itself worth a visit.

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Le barbier (the barber), by Michel Perez

The Musée Miniature et Cinéma, which hosts Ohlmann’s full collection as well as a large collection of special effect props for movies, is not simply offering visitors unbelievably realistic miniature rooms and scenes created by several artists: on the second floor, you can also watch the artists at work, as they create the miniatures.

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Les bains d’Asniers (Asniers baths), Ronan Jim Sevellec
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Canal Street, by Alan Wolfson

Contrary to popular belief, these miniatures, which are a 10th or a 12th of the original size, are not used to shoot movie scenes, according to Valérie Chaix, a spokesperson for the museum.

“They should be considered works of art,” Chaix told Quartz.

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Les archives, by Dan Ohlmann
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L’entrepôt (the warehouse), by Dan Ohlmann
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Le collectionneur de Brooklyn (the Brooklyn collector), by Dan Ohlmann
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Le dortoir (the dorm), by Dan Ohlmann
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Le museum, by Dan Ohlmann
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Le théâtre abandonné (the abandoned theatre), by Dan Ohlmann
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Le Normandie, by Dan Ohlmann
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Tapisserie (wallpaper), by Laurie Courbier