Paris, France’s museum, Musée d’Orsay, offers an exciting exhibition on Crime & Punishment. As part of this exhibit, they recently added a vintage 1872 guillotine. The contraption stands 14 feet tall, and is the first guillotine to be publicly displayed in France since France’s abolition of the death penalty in 1981. The controversial but morbidly fascinating item is a powerful reminder of an era now gone. The side of the wooden bed nearest the blade is stained an ominous reddish-brown, no doubt from years of active usage.
“The Widow” is not the only reason to visit the Musée d’Orsay. Other mesmerizing paintings and displays, featuring many portrayals of suffering, death, and decapitation, tell the story of crime and punishment in France from the Revolutionary to the modern era. Get a taste of what they have to offer on their website.