We were interested to find out more about the history of Nancy and Lorraine as a whole, and as the museum is in the old Ducal Palace and the convent and chapel of the Cordeliers, we thought it would be a good place to do this. Sadly, it is something of a "curate's egg" -good in parts!
We were disappointed to discover that the archaelogy room was closed and my son said this was one of the best bits: there was no sign on the door and no explanation in the foyer, which was somewhat misleading.
We looked at more of the exhibits, some of which were of interest and explained how Lorraine fitted into the wider picture of French history, but some of which was frankly boring! Dusty glass cases full of china etc, not at all interactive and no explanations in other languages. I work as a casual museum attendant and found it very frustrating to see how much could be made of the place: it was as if they had tried but not that hard. For example, there were boxes of dressing up clothes for children but no information about what they contained, and not even a mirror for the children to see themselves once they had dressed up.
The attendants kind of hovered to make sure we didn't damage anything but they made no effort to explain or show us in more detail. The one redeeming exhibition in the main museum was the new one about World War 1 for the centenary: this showed tremendous thought and care and the preparation which had gone into this was clear. We all found it moving and interesting and the fact that they had put commentaries in English and German on all the displays made it much more accessible. I learnt loads, especially about how Alsace-Lorraine was such a disputed territory and how much they had to endure during the war. If only the museum would display all its collections like this, it would be fantastic. We also loved the Cordeliers part which I have reviewed separately, and it was these two displays which redeemed the place for us.
At 18 euros for 4 of us, it wasn't that cheap, it was worth a visit especially for the two areas mentioned but I don't think I would go back unless they added more exhibitions like those.
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