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Harry Potter: The Exhibition - Paris review

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Earlier this month, DailySnitcher rep Astri attended a press preview event for Harry Potter: The Exhibition held at La Cité du Cinéma in Paris. The film studio complex is the third stage of the European tour, following stopovers in Germany and Sweden, and is currently open to the public. Here is her report:

James and Oliver Phelps 
 
When I arrived at 4:30pm at La Cité du Cinéma, I was really excited to explore the exhibition and meet James and Oliver Phelps. The meet and greet with the twins was scheduled at 5pm and right after that, the tour of the exhibition with Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima. That meant I had 30 minutes all to myself to visit the exhibition. I took in as much as I could and as many pictures as I could.

As I passed the entrance door, in a small room, there it was: the Sorting Hat. Nice way to start off the tour! I tried on the hat, all alone, on that small stool and got Sorted into Ravenclaw, my favourite house. Excitement built up even more inside of me. 

 Hogwarts Express
 
Next up, I was invited to view sequences from the Harry Potter films in a room filled with screens and at the end I could hear the whistle of a train, that’s when a wall rose to reveal the Hogwarts Express. I was then escorted along a platform to the portrait gallery, and that really kicked off the exhibition.

I found myself in the Gryffindor Common Room where there were many objects that belonged to the trio – from Harry’s wand and glasses, to the knitted sweater by Ron's mother, to the Marauder's Map.

Quidditch robes 
 
Then I saw costumes and props from some of the Hogwarts classrooms: Potions, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Divination and Herbology. I pulled out a mandrake and heard its cries, as if I was attending Herbology class.

In the Quidditch section, I saw many objects such as the Golden Snitch, the Quidditch World Cup Trophy and Harry's brooms. Ever fancy trying to play Quidditch? Then you can be a Chaser for a few moments by trying to throw the Quaffle into one of the three hoop goal post. It was quite fun!

Hagrid props 
 
Afterwards, there was Hagrid’s Hut. Buckbeak the hippogriff stood right next it, and inside, all the furniture and props are giant sized. One of them is the famous pink umbrella. I also got to sit on Hagrid’s chair. 

Then I entered The Forbidden Forest filled with its magical creatures such as the centaurs, giant spiders and dragons. Seeing the size of the spiders, I totally understand Ron’s fear! Next up were the dark forces in a dark gloomy room, where I saw Voldemort’s costume and the Death Eaters’ robes and masks, and even a life-sized gravestone for of Tom Riddle. Seeing that gravestone made my heart ache a little, thinking about Cedric Diggory’s death. 

Wizard chessman 
 
Moving on, there was the creepy Dementor, the uniform of Azkaban's prisoners, as well as Kreacher, the Black family’s House Elf. All of the six Horcruxes were on display there, as well as some of the giant wizard chessmen guarding one of the chambers hiding the Philosopher's Stone. Imagining those pawns come to life during a game of wizard chess is really fantastic.

Hanging on the walls next to the Great Hall doors are some of the Educational Decrees created by the Ministry of Magic. Inside the Great Hall, illuminated by candles that float above the room, you can see the prom dresses for the Yule Ball, as well as Dumbledore’s costumes and a life-sized Dobby. I was especially fascinated by all the sweets and candy packages from Honeydukes and all the food that can be found on the Great Hall tables. Seeing all that made me hungry !

Yule Ball costumes 
 
I went back to the main entrance for the meet and greet with the Phelps twins. After the photo session, we took a tour of the exhibition accompanied by Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima. They shared with us the process of making of the props and the designs on the sets, and the stories behind them.

When I finally reached the exit and entered the souvenir shop, reality kicked in and I was really sad that it was already over. All those costumes, props and set pieces, made me feel as if I was truly in that magical place. I was able to enter the world of Harry Potter, not only in my imagination. And going through the exhibition with MinaLima and listening to them talking about designing the props, the sets and all the fun facts about the making of the movies, was almost overwhelming, and truly a day to remember.
 
More images from the exhibition can be seen here in our galleries. 
 
 
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 April 2015 14:00 )  

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