Beginning in 1822, the creation of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in Lyon gave hundreds of young men and women a chance to travel through unknown lands in Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas as they carried out missionary work.
The exhibition draws parallels between missionaries' accounts and the history of the objects collected overseas, which they sent or carried back to Lyon. Neither explorers, nor travellers, some of these young men and women developed scientific skills, ranging from ethnology to linguistics, cartography and zoology.
The objects they collected, used in rituals or everyday life, threw light on previously unknown cultures.
The exhibition also invites visitors to question this vision of the world and the perspective that a museum should adopt today in relation to this period of history.
Admission to the Musée des Confluences and its exhibitions is included in the Lyon City Card.