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Secret erotic art exposed for the first time

"Psst......wanna see some dirty pictures?"

From The Times - Tales and pictures of naughty nuns, lustful queens and randy noblemen go on display........when the French National Library unlocks its secret archive of erotic art.

The show of 350 works, ranging from manuscripts by the Marquis de Sade to early pornographic photography, is causing a stir because the library'€™s trove of licentious literature -€“ known as L'Enfer - has been the stuff of fantasy since the early 19th century.

L€'Enfer, to which "€œimmoral"€ works were often consigned after police seizure, was closed in 1969.

According to the article the RATP has "joined the fun, converting a Métro station into a teaser for the exhibition. Underground trains will slow down at the disused Croix-Rouge station so that passengers can glimpse erotic engravings."

That's exactly the kind of public initiative I expected to see more of when I moved to France.

The contents of this library were cataloged by Pascal Pia and Guillaume Apollinaire in the 1913 'Les livres de l'Enfer: bibliographie critique des ouvrages érotiques dans leurs différentes éditions du XVIe siècle à nos jours'.

What a splendid task they undertook, compiling the catalogue was quite a task; they bribed a library official to smuggle them 3 books at a time (the collection numbers 900).

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