Blue Penny Museum
Blue Penny Museum information
Lonely Planet review
Whether or not you fully understand the philatelic obsession with the Mauritian one-penny and two-pence stamps of 1847, the Blue Penny Museum is far more wide ranging than its name suggests, taking in the history of the island's exploration, settlement and colonial period and even detouring into the Paul and Virginia legend. It's Port Louis' best museum, with a fantastic selection of antique maps, engravings from different periods in history, and photographs that show a then-and-now look at Port Louis.
The pride of the museum's collection is two of the world's rarest stamps: the red one-penny and blue two-pence 'Post Office' stamps issued in 1847. To preserve the colours, they are only lit up for 10 minutes at a time: every hour, at 25 minutes past the hour. The stamps are considered a national treasure and are probably the most valuable objects on the entire island.
On the ground floor you'll see the country's most famous work of art: a superbly life-like statue by the Mauritian sculptor Prosper d'Épinay, carved in 1884. Based on Bernardin de St-Pierre's novel Paul et Virginie , the sculpture depicts the young hero carrying his sweetheart across a raging torrent.