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Parisians Invited to Go to 'Hell'

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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HOT! De Sade orgy sketch

In a country where philandering is practically a national pastime, it's hard to imagine a suppressed cache of salacious art and writing. But that's exactly what France's National Library has opened to the public—for the first time.

Know as L'Enfer, or "Hell," the library's secret archive contains work deemed "immoral" by French authorities over the last 200 years. Now on display are 350 pieces from the collection, including a 1762 poem by Voltaire and, of course, work by revolution-era France's version of R. Kelly, the Marquis de Sade (real talk). Even the public transit authority in Paris is getting in on the pervy fun. The unused Croix-Rouge metro station has been converted to a subterranean peep show, with trains slowing down so riders can ogle "erotic engravings" on the walls. Who knew there was this much sexual repression in a nation of pissed off dairy farmers and race rioters?

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