July 02, 2010

René Mattei, Corse miniature animée/Animated Mini Corsica

all pictures touristic website toute la corse

This miniature creative construction, located in the Corsican city of Bastia, in touristic site in general is referred to as the Museum of Miniatures, but René Mattei prefers to call it Corse miniature animée (animated mini Corsica).

Life and works

Mattei made this miniature Corsican village between 1983 and 1986. On a scale 1:30 he constructed a windmill, a cathedral, a sheepfold, a bridge, and other items, which all together represent the atmosphere of small corsican villages.

The small buildings are illuminated, bells will ring and other village sounds can be heard, some light classical music is played, and there is a small train circling around.

I could not trace any biographical information about Mattei. He might have been a sailor, but I am not sure about this.

Although over twenty years have elapsed since Mattei made his construction, he currently (2010) is still actively engaged with the site. Every day he will be present at his museum to meet and show around tourists, who find their way to the museum.

The museum is located in the Citadelle, a fortified complex on the sea front, that in former times protected the city from invasions from the mediterrenean.

René Mattei somehow has got permission from the city of Bastia, the owner of the citadel, to use a room of the old building to establish his museum. It is the room were in former days the gunpowder was stored, the powder house, in french the poudrière.

It would be interesting to know how Mattei got this permission, but I couldn't find any information in this regard.

* Weblog Animula Vagula april 5, 2010 (in french)
* Video by 1982Anty (Youtube, 3'04", uploaded august 2012)

first published july 2010, revised april 2015

René Mattei
Corse miniature animée
la Citadelle
20200 Bastia Corsica
open for public visits


  1. Sounds like a fascinating place to visit !

    Am adding to the list...

    This made me think of the Museum of Plans and Reliefs which is in Paris, in les Invalides. Have you heard of it ? There's some info here :


    The large scale models of entire cities in the museum are simply wonderful, the details are exquisite. If ever in Paris, you might enjoy this one...

  2. Looks like a wonderful museum: citadelles, fortifications, villes historiques, reliefs...
    Just the kind of world of visual adventure I do like very much.
    Thanks Owen, and have a nice weekend!