According to Reuters.com, the opening of a year-long celebration of the 50th birthday of famous Gallic cartoon character Asterix, is to occur at the
Museum of the Middle Ages (Jan. 3, 2010). Asterix, created by writer Rene Goscinny and illustrator Albert Uderzo, first appeared in the French comic magazine Pilote in October 1959.
The National Museum of the Middle Ages (Musée National du Moyen Âge), also known as the Cluny Museum (Musee de Cluny), is the perfect place for the opening events as it is a famous institution that displays a magnificent collection of medieval art in a 15th-century Gothic mansion. As an added bonus, underneath the museum are the ruins of ancient Roman baths.
The Musée National du Moyen Age is housed in the Hôtel de Cluny, one of only two remaining medieval homes in Paris (the other is the Hôtel de Sens in the Marais). The building was founded by the rich and powerful 15th-century abbot of Cluny Abbey, Jacques d’Amboise, who constructed his mansion over the ruins of a Roman bath.
In addition to abbots, the Hôtel de Cluny hosted other notable residents, including Mary Tudor, widow of Louis XII, beginning in 1515. Seized during the French Revolution, the Cluny was rented in 1833 to Alexandre du Sommerard, an amateur art collector who was fascinated with the Middle Ages. After his death in 1842, the government bought the building and the collection.
For more fun facts about the museum, click here.