The fabulous new exhibit “Once Upon a Time on the Orient Express” at The Institut du Monde Arabe celebrates the 130th anniversary of the legendary train service traveling from Paris to Constantinople starting 1883.
Four of the train’s original cars with polished shiny royal blue exteriors and sun yellow graphics are now parked in front of the museum. After patiently waiting in line single file, I entered the intimate cars. The swanky cars had golden velvet club chairs and Lalique glass inserts. Each car had tables set with various props including a fez, half drunk glasses of whiskey, playing cards, teapots, pale pink satin gloves, and old copies of Le Figaro, making you nostalgic for the glamour and intrigue of an era gone by.
In a tongue and cheek move, scenes form various movies that took place on the Orient Express have been reproduced. One car features a screen showing the James Bond film From Russia with Love with James Bond’s immaculate tuxedo hanging along side and his gun.
In another car, artifacts from Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express are displayed. In fact, Christie met her husband on the Orient Express. So romantic! Other artifacts include Graham Greene’s typewriter and Josephine Baker’s costumes.