Visiting this unusual museum is like taking a walk through the materialisation of this society’s spirit that, originally, held an enigmatic secrecy.
La Grande Loge de France: a Masonic treasure chest /
The ‘Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite’ is a masonic rite based on the Scottish system that was practiced in France in the mid-eighteenth century, primarily in the Paris and Bordeaux lodges. The Great Lodge derived from these, but it has an older affiliation with the fundamental principles of the first French Masonic Order.
In the Seventies, the Great Lodge decided to unveil (much for the world’s delight) some of the mystery that has revolved around this group. They opened part of their private collections and archives to the public, and showed beautiful artefacts that ornate the Masonic room: swords, jewels, medals, and thousands of ritualistic objects that had been hidden from the world for two centuries.
To do this, the Grande Loge Museum serves several purposes: centralising and preserving documents that were stolen during the Nazi occupation of France, and sharing the Order’s history with the public at large. They sought to reveal the complexity of their symbolism in an attempt to put an end to the satanic stereotypes they were once associated to. Nowadays, the museum also exhibits contemporary art installations made by initiated and non-initiated artists. Their art collections thus boasts of a masonic curatorship and an external one, and together they encompass the mysterious aura that surrounds this discrete institution.
However, just because they have made their ritualistic objects public, this does not mean that the non-masonic audience understands. What the museum does accomplish though, is to superficially include us in a symbolic and elegant mind that can enthrall our imagination. This museum, located in Paris, is completely unusual and they it doesn’t have an entry fee. To gain access to the library, visitors must arrange an appointment beforehand. It’s undoubtedly worthwhile to get a glance at this seductive secret society.Tagged: trips and travelers, masonry, secret societies