This virtual exhibition traces the history of France’s five great government monopolies: the national printing press (L’Imprimerie Nationale), the stock exchange (La Compagnie des agents de change), excise stamps (L’Atelier général du timbre), money and medals, and tobacco and matches.

A government monopoly is a monopoly in which a government agency or corporation is the sole provider of a particular good or service and competition is forbidden. A large number were run or overseen by the finance ministry, and the exhibition traces all stages of their evolution – from their rise to their decline or eventual suppression.

The exhibition provides an insight into all aspects of these monopolies, with a presentation covering their management and administration, as well as their manufacturing and artistic processes. Visitors can also read a number of important historical documents with the help of a magnifying glass, and view an overall chronology (“Through the Ages”) showing key dates in the development of these monopolies. The exhibition includes an interactive map of France (“Across France”) showing where the main establishments were located.

The exhibition has been organised with the help of the French Economy and Budget Ministries.

To view the exhibition, go to the Monopoly website.

Explore also...

Published on 06 August 2013. Updated on 29 September 2022