Alien sighting in France

Alien sighting in France

A team of experts in Lyon lovingly restored and brought back to life H.R. Giger’s iconic piece of cinematic history.

Remember the monster in Ridley Scot’s “Alien” that made you jump in your seat and spill your popcorn? Hard to believe, but it’s been 35 years since the original was released, featuring a highly irritable extraterrestrial creature that managed to chomp her way through the entire crew of a spaceship – except for warrant officer Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver, who survived to play in the three sequels.

The design of Swiss surrealist artist H. R. Giger, the Alien Queen came to life just before special effects became digital, and firmly enthroned in the altar of sci-fi film history. The robotic model was found half-forgotten in a warehouse and had seriously fallen into disrepair until the intrepid team of technicians from the Musée Miniature et Cinéma in Lyon bought the parts and carefully restored it down to the last detail, including the robotic motion mechanism.


The Musée Miniature et Cinéma plays a significant role in preserving film heritage. From a pirate sword, a mechanized remote-controlled fake animal, a science-fiction costume, or, in this case, a deadly monster from outer space, the museum’s workshop employs a staff of artist’s and technicians to bring the pieces back to their full glory in the most accurate way possible.

Ideally located in the heart of “Vieux-Lyon”, in the cradle of cinema, the museum is housed in the “Maison des Avocats” (Lawyers’ House), a famed 16th century building that is now a UNESCO world heritage site. The collections includes scale miniatures and original movie props and extends over five stories, totalling almost 2,000 m² of eye-popping exhibition space .


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Sylvia is a freelance journalist based in France, focusing on business and culture. A member of the France Media editorial team, Sylvia is a regular contributor and looks after social media across our publications.

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