Harry Potter exhibition is heading to France

There was some great news for Harry Potter fans in France this week. The universe of the famous Hogwart's wizzard is coming to Paris. And you'll have to be quick off the mark to get tickets.

Harry Potter exhibition is heading to France
Harry Potter: The Exhibition is coming to France. Photo: Getty/AFP

The mammoth 2000-square-metre exhibition, will be held at the Cité des Cinéma in Saint-Denis in the north of Paris in April next year. 

The Potter retrospective, which has already proven to be a success in America and Asia, is currently taking place in Cologne, Germany.

As a new Hogwarts student, the Sorting Hat will first direct you to ‘your house’, Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff.

The famous Hogwarts Express (or Poudlard Express in French) will then take you to the heart of the school where you will get to try Quidditch and maybe even catch the Golden Snitch if you are lucky.

The most adventurous fans will probably want to take a walk in the school’s forest near by Hagrid’s house afterwards, and enter Voldemort's secret room.

Beware though, Death Eaters will be nearby… Last but not least, you will even have the privilege of meeting with professors Dumbledore and MacGonagall in the school refectory.

The exhibition will only last until September 6th next year.

Tickets, which are available from €19.99 for adults, €15.99 for children and €65 for groups of four, went on sale on Monday and have already been snapped up in their thousands. Websites selling the tickets were still experiencing long delays on Tuesday.

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Finally! French fans go mad for Harry Potter translation

French Harry Potter fans queued up to be the first to get their hands on 'Harry Potter et l'Enfant Maudit', the translated version of the 'Cursed Child' play.

Finally! French fans go mad for Harry Potter translation
The English-language version came out on July 31st, but French speakers have had to wait an extra 75 days. Photo: AFP

The original English version of the play – considered as the 'eighth' in the Harry Potter series, though it is set 19 years after the seventh book ends – first appeared in French bookstores in English on July 31st (the birthday of both the boy-wizard and his creator, J. K. Rowling). 

But now French people can catch up with Harry's latest adventures in their native language, as the translated play hit bookstore shelves on Friday. 

Over 100 bookshops across the country – including around ten in Paris alone – stayed open throughout the night to allow fans to get their hands on the book as soon as possible.

Quizzes, film screenings and costume competitions were held at many of the events, with many Potter fans dressed in robes and the colours of their chosen Hogwarts house.

“The Cursed Child” was written by Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany, in collaboration with J. K. Rowling.

The English version topped bestseller lists in France throughout August – a surprising feat for a play, let alone one written in a foreign tongue. 

“Only a Harry Potter could sell so many copies in English,” Livres Hebdo, a literary magazine, said in July.


Got it ! #CursedChild #HarryPotter #VF #FuretduNord #EnfantMaudit #Friendship #childhood

A photo posted by laurineptie (@laurineptie) on Oct 13, 2016 at 2:58pm PDT

The French edition was translated by Jean-François Ménard, who was also responsible for bringing the seven original Harry Potter books to a Francophone audience. Ménard had just a month to complete the job.

In the play, which is currently running at a London theatre, the wizard grows up, marries Ginny Weasley and has three children. 

Harry Potter and France

The hero of Hogwarts has also long been a favourite in France – despite the French having a famously fraught relationship with his native tongue.

The seventh and final novel in the original series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” sold 200,000 English-language copies in France within two weeks of its launch in 2007. It went on to sell around 315,000 copies in total.

J K Rowling herself has a strong French connection; she had a French great-grandfather, studied the language at university and even worked as a French teacher for a stint in Scotland.

And the admiration is mutual; the author has received the French Legion of Honour, the country's highest award.

In her acceptance speech, she apologized for her rusty French accent and for giving two of the villains French-inspired names. Linguists will have noticed that Rowling took inspiration from her French studies to come up with the names of both dark wizard Voldemort (vol de mort = flight of death) and the snooty Malfoy family (mal foi = bad faith).

And there's more exciting news for France-based Potterheads.

In late December, the Salle Pleyel in Paris will host a subtitled screening of the first film of the series, accompanied by a symphony orchestra.