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Last Updated: Friday, 10 March 2006, 16:24 GMT
Unseen Paris map for Tube museum
London Underground map
The London Tube map was based on an electrical circuit
A previously-unseen map of the Paris Metro - drawn by the man who created the famous London Tube map - is to go on public display.

Drawn by Harry Beck in 1951, the Metro map will be shown off when London's Transport Museum reopens in 2007.

The French authorities thought his design was not appropriate for the Metro and rejected it, while his London map was on the way to becoming iconic.

The museum's latest acquisition was offered by an anonymous seller.


Before Beck, London Tube maps had endeavoured to show the distance between stations.

He scrapped all that and came up with an easy-to-read map - based on an electrical circuit - which ignored distances and exact geographic locations in favour of clarity.

His Paris map of 1951 sought to bring the same precision to the French capital's system.

The Paris map will be among the star attractions in the new museum in Covent Garden.

It will be displayed in the design gallery alongside the 1931 presentation drawing by Beck for the London Underground, drawings for the famous Tube roundel logo and more artefacts from London's transport design heritage.


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