Ad posters at subway stations is something every commuter face every day; so while waiting or disembarking from trains we see all kinds of new, glitzy commercials promoting everything new and in fashion.
Recently the Parisian commuters at the Trinité – d’Estienne d’Orves station on Line 12 of the Paris Métro in the commercial center of Paris and the 9th arrondissement , instead of the regular modern commercial “distraction” were faced with crumbled, outdated remains of what their “predecessors” were seeing every day.Parisian metro workers during the recent renovation of the subway station unveiled 1950’s Paris, as they discovered old advertising posters hiding beneath the modern materials.
Apparently, in yesteryear when the subway station needed a revamp, instead of ripping off the old materials,they simply covered them with new, modern posters, so for all these years the mid- twentieth century posters were concealed by new materials. Nevertheless, now RATP, has announced that these advertising ephemera will be be identified, restored and placed in historic and heritage collections.
For a brief moment, the passengers at the subway station were given the chance to time travel to the 1950’s, as they were surrounded by vintage household advertisements, vintage maps of the city, concert promotions and public transport schedules, dated June 20th,1959. The crumbling posters even revealed a record of criminal activities that took place within the station.
Luckily for us, the present commuters were smart enough to react on time and snapped photos of the time-capsule station.
For no-Parisians here is some info about the metro: The station opened on 5th November 1910 as part of the original section of the Nord-Sud Company’s line A between Porte de Versailles and Notre-Dame-de-Lorette. On 27th of March 1931 line A became line 12 of the Métro. The station is named after the nearby church of the Trinité and the Place d’Estienne d’Orves, named after Henri Honoré d’Estienne d’Orves (1901–1941), a French Navy officer and Resistance fighter.
The most fascinating of all is that is that not the first time that a Parisian metro hides a time capsule museum behind the new materials. In 2009,behind the walls of La Muette, station on the 9 line of the Paris Métro in the 16th arrondissement, RATP workers uncovered 50’s and 60’s vintage posters. So, before you assume how lazy were the metro workers of the yesteryear, we’ve discovered that this was a really popular “renovation technique” after the Second World War. To revamp outdated metro stations, carrossage (arched tilling) was used as a cheap way to renovate in 1920’s and 30’s, so the mid-century workers didn’t bother to remove the posters. That is why in 1990 the RATP started a campaign called décarrossage, which consists of removing the new layers just to discover the layers of yesteryear.
What can we say, we can just thank the Mid-Century workers for their “passive-aggressive” renovation technique and hope that this will not be the last station that hides a museum behind the walls.