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Musée Edith Piaf Museum In Paris

The Musée Edith Piaf is a private museum that is dedicated to Edith Piaf, who is without a doubt one of the most famous names in French singing and is run by a group called the Friends of Edith Piaf who are ensuring that this great singer lives on in memories and is never forgotten.

Bernard Marchois is the secretary-general of the Friends of Edith Piaf association and he maintains the museum in his fourth floor flat.

Musee Edith Piaf

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Musée Edith Piaf Museum In Paris

It was in 1958 that Bernard Marchois first met Edith Piaf when he was just sixteen years of age and after that he regularly visited her at her flat and went to every performance she gave until she died he decided to open up the museum in 1977 with his own personal memento's and those that were provided by Edith Piaf's family and friends.

Edith Piaf

Edith Piaf was originally born in 1915 with the name Edith Giovanna Gassion and abandoned by her mother who was a street singer, Edith was initially taken care of by her aunt.  Then when she was seven years of age she started to tour through Europe with her father who was a circus acrobat and by the age of eight she was singing with her father's act.

When in her early teens, Edith lived with Simone Bertaut who was a street singer and then when not even out of her teens Louis Leplee, a nightclub impresario discovered Edith and gave her the stage name Edith Piaf and a nickname of 'Kid Sparrow'.

She was blessed with a wonderful voice and an enthralling stage presence, which meant she won the hearts of millions and her main fame came after she wrote La Vie en Rose in 1946.  But among her other famous songs are Hymne à l'Amour produced in 1949, Milord written in 1959, and Non, Ie Ne Regrette Rien written in 1960.

Unfortunately, her life was far shorter than what it should have been and although she was virtually unable to stand up, in 1961 Edith Piaf appeared at the Paris Olympia, but it was only eighteen months later that she had died of cancer.  Edith actually died in the South of France but so her followers believed that she died in Paris, her body was secretly transported back to her apartment at 67 Boulevard Lannes in Paris.

Because of her lifestyle the Archbishop of Paris at the time forbade a Mass, yet around forty thousand fans bombarded her ceremony at Pere-Lachaise and brought the traffic around Paris to a standstill and on the following day there were over 300,000 Edith Piaf records sold in Paris alone.

The Musée Edith Piaf is not very well known and is reasonably hard to find in the 11th Arrondissement of Paris, but is not far from the Père Lachaise cemetery where Edith is buried and has a plaque on the building's façade that says 'Les Amis de Edith Piaf'. 

This small personal museum has a great collection of photographs and pictures of the star, to some of her favourite outfits from famous shows, and a whole range of fascinating music related paraphernalia along with personal effects such as jewellery, furniture, letters and a life-sized teddy bear given to her by her husband.

You can have a guided tour by Bernard Marchois himself although this will only be in French, or you can choose to look round at all the different mementos in these two dedicated rooms on your own, whilst listening to her music in the background.

The museum is open from a Monday to Thursday from 1pm through to 6pm but is shut on all other days and is also closed on National Holidays. 

Also, you need to make an appointment prior to arriving, as you will be given directions along with an access code to enter the building and then you need to climb four sets of stairs to be greeted by Bernard.

Because there are no lifts, this museum is not going to be accessible to the disabled and once you have an appointment it is completely free to visit, although a donation is appreciated.

Address & Contact Details:

Musée Edith Piaf
5 Rue Crespin du Gast

Telephone: 43 55 52 72

Musée Edith Piaf Museum

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