Europe’s oddball museums broaden perspectives

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tags: Museum



You could spend a lifetime in Europe’s grand museums — the Louvre, the British Museum, and many others. But I also like to take in a destination’s more idiosyncratic sights, getting a bead on the quirkier side of the local culture. It’s my nature as a travel writer to look for the rustic, old-fashioned, and odd bits that fall through the cracks.

During a recent trip to Madrid, I visited the Royal Palace and the superb collection of paintings at the Prado Museum, as I always do. But even more fun, I went to Casita Museo de Raton Perez, a tiny museum busy with enthralled and wide-eyed kids, who came to meet a mystical little mouse. Raton Perez, a kind of four-legged tooth fairy, gives candies to Spanish kids when they lose a tooth and put it under their pillow. There was ample evidence of the mouse everywhere in the museum — including a six-inch-tall bronze statue in the lobby — but the magical rodent himself was nowhere to be found.




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