A recent collaboration between French rail operator SNCF and Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac saw train carriages on the city’s underground RER Line E fully decked out in colourful prints depicting over 400 works of art, photographs, paintings and objects of the historical collections that can be found in the museum.
More than 600sq ft of vinyl film was used across the five carriages, each depicting traditional and telling works of arts originating from North and South America, Asia, Oceania and Africa.
Inaugurated in June, the ‘Arts and Civilisations’ train took 700 hours of work to complete thanks to 14 specialists from Saint Pierre des Corps Technicentre, the company responsible with the maintenance of the lines.
The unique train, designed by Adkeys agency, can carry up to 1,300 passengers and serves 22 stations from Haussmann-Saint-Lazare to Chelles-Gournay or Tournan, passing by Gare du Nord, Magenta, Rosa-Parks, and Noisy-le-Sec.
In the North-American themed carriage, photographs of statuettes, masks, ornaments and ceremonial or funerary objects help retrace the history of its first indigenous peoples until the birth of cultures African-American.
The South-American display explores the journey from pre-hispanic America to present day, following Ecuadorian shamans, the Andean highlands, the peoples of the Amazonian forest and the costumes of the Bolivian Carnival.
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The African artwork celebrates both sub-Saharan and North African through a multitude of masks, statues and everyday life objects, as well as displays of rich textiles, ceramics and jewelry. In the Asia-themed carriage, passengers can observe motifs and objects reminiscing of cultures from Turkey to Japan.
The project is not the first of its kind however.
Since 2012, similar initiatives have seen Line C trains decorated to resemble the interiors of Château de Versailles, followed by a train dedicated to impressionist art from Musée d’Orsay on Line J, the celebration of 120 years of cinema on Line D and the Nature and Patrimony train, dedicated to the Château de Rambouillet, on Line N.