A museum dedicated to the history of Paris denied Friday that it is dropping the use of Roman numerals for the names of kings and emperors, which had caused uproar in Italy.
Amid concern that Louis XIV had suddenly been renamed Louis 14, the Carnavalet Museum took to social media to calm nerves.
“Roman numerals have not been abandoned. They are used for the names of kings and emperors on nearly 3,000 signs,” tweeted Paris-Musees, which runs the Carnavalet in the Marais district of the city.
Parts of the Italian press had worked themselves up over the perceived “cultural catastrophe” of the decision to eschew their beloved numerals at the museum.
But Paris-Musees explained that this was only for around 170 monarch-related signposts aimed at simplifying things for certain visitors, including for those with disabilities.
However, it is now using modern-day numbers for all years and centuries, it said, in keeping with changes at other museums around the world, including the Louvre which made the change several years ago.
One of the city’s oldest museums, dating back to the 19th century, Carnavalet is set to reopen this year if pandemic conditions allow, with some 3,800 artworks charting the history of Paris from prehistoric times through to the present day.
VR Sunil Gohil