July 02, 2010

René Mattei, Corse miniature animé / Animated Mini Corsica

all pictures from the touristic website toute la corse

An ensemble of miniature constructions, located in the Corsican city of Bastia, was in touristic websites in general referred to as the Museum of Miniatures, but René Mattei preferred to call it Corse miniature animé (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.

In 2010 when this post was first published, he was still actively engaged with the site. Every day he would be present at his museum to meet tourists who found their way to the museum.

The museum was located in the Citadelle, a fortified complex on the seafront, that in former times protected the city from invasions from the Mediterranean.

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.

The museum is permanently closed

In 2019  the museum was closed for construction. Google Maps reports that the site is permanently closed

* Weblog Animula Vagula, April 5, 2010 

 * Video (August 2012) by 1982Anty (YouTube, 3'04")

first published July 2010, last revised July 2023

René Mattei
Corse miniature animé
la Citadelle
20200 Bastia Corsica
permanently closed


  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!

  3. Unfortunately listed by Google Maps as permanently closed.
    Thanks for your great site !