"AN IRON CONSTITUTION! Minerals and health, from Antiquity to the present day"

A temporary exhibit, March 10, 2020 until August 28, 2021



MINES ParisTech Mineralogy Museum presents to the public the temporary exhibition called "An iron constitution! Minerals and health, from Antiquity to the present day”. This exhibition, curated by some students from PSL University, offers visitors a new look at one of the most beautiful collections of minerals in the world, by presenting the role that minerals have always played in our health, from ancient talismans to lithotherapy, from toxicity of Roman lead to modern asbestos or from antiseptic kohls to nuclear medicine.


A new look at the museum’s collections


The exhibition hosted by MINES ParisTech Mineralogy Museum and curated by students of “Paris Sciences et Lettres” (PSL) presents to the public a different look at its collection through the links that minerals have with a very topical theme: health.


When talking about “Minerals” and “Health”, one might think about lithotherapy. However, it seemed important to put in perspective this practice in a more general framework, to explore much deeper roots than the obvious ones. Because they are beautiful, minerals have long served as talismans and fueled magical / religious thoughts. Because they are raw materials, minerals are also the basis of the ancient and modern pharmaceutical industries. Finally, because many of them have remarkable physical or chemical properties, they have been used “as is” or after synthesis in many applications.


Visitors can also contemplate works from the heritage fund of the School of Mines, which illustrate how minerals are an ancient subject of study. The exhibition, which is presented in the form of posters throughout the museum as well as inserts to explain the role of different minerals, offers very diverse topics, industrial and historical, ranging from the emergence of chemical medicine to the pollution caused by slag heaps.


This exhibition is curated by students from four PSL University schools: the École Normale Supérieure, MINES ParisTech, the École Nationale des Chartes, the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs. We are proud to see the PSL ComUE, which brings together schools with very varied fields of expertise, is a framework conducive to collaboration between students from diverse backgrounds on transverse subjects


Visit the exhibition

The exhibition is in FRENCH only. The temporary exhibition takes place in the Mineralogy Museum of MINES ParisTech ,from March 10 to May 2, 2020. The exhibition can be seen during the museum's opening hours, with a normal ticket (no additional cost to access the exhibit).

The MINES ParisTech Mineralogy Museum (entrance at 60 Boulevard St Michel 75006) is open to the public. Entrance: 6 €. Half-price: 3 €. Free for students and PSL members. See all conditions here.


Temporary exhibit "An iron constitution!" - Mines Paris - PSL

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Find all the information to come to the Mineralogy Museum here

Musée de Minéralogie

Mines Paris - PSL

60 boulevard Saint Michel

75006 Paris





TUESDAY: 10am - 12pm and 1:30pm - 6pm.


SATURDAY: 10am - 12:30pm and 2pm - 5pm


Closed on National Holidays, Sundays and Mondays





Mines Paris - PSL will be closed during the Olympic Games. For this reason, the museum will also be closed from JULY 21 UNTIL AUGUST 12, 2024.




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