The Photography Museum of Mauritius
The first evidence of paved roadways coincides with the Middle Ages period and the urban development of the 12th century. This is to say, the predestined bond between the Vieux Conseil and its paved stones leading to the Photography Museum of Mauritius. Just as paving stones, photography stands the test of time.
The Photography Museum of Mauritius is a private museum founded in 1966 by the collector Tristan Bréville and his wife. It was initially located in their house in Rose Hill, then in Quatre Bornes. It eventually settled in its current site in 1993: in an old building donated by the Port-Louis city council and restored thanks to the assistance of the Association of French-speaking Mayors (AIMF). The official inauguration was on the 1st of July 1993, and took place in the presence of Jacques Toubon, French Minister of Culture, and Jean-Luc Monterrosso, director of the European House of photography.
Mauritius is one of the first countries in the world to have ventured in this newly discovered art. The daguerreotype made its appearance in Mauritius in February 1840, four months after the purchase of the patent of Louis Daguerre in France.
Many documents on the history of photography in Mauritius – portraits, landscapes, city and countryside scenes, major events, factories, fishing scenes, first cars, the first buses (1930), the Mauritian railroad, colonial houses, historical buildings, flora and fauna – are exposed in the Mauritius Photography Museum.
Its collection contains over one thousand cameras of different eras, of which the lens of Charles Chevalier manufactured for Daguerre in 1839. It's more than 400,000 acetate negative films, it’s 5,000 glass discs, 28 daguerreotypes, 10 autochromes of the Lumière brothers, more than 200,000 shots of history and landscapes of Mauritius, it’s 9,000 old postcards, it's more than twenty-five hours of movies about Mauritius and its inhabitants since 1939, it’s documentation of newspapers between the end of the 19th century and 1945 on photography in Mauritius and of the books and newspapers on the history of cinematography in Mauritius since 1897 also make the Mauritius Photography Museum an iconographic research centre.