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  • King Louis XIV's toilet was designed to look like another throne
  • French Royalty also had a loo that mocked English classics
  • Collection of toilets from 2,500BC on display at a New Delhi museum

This museum is kicking up a stink – by displaying hundreds of toilets through the ages.

The vast collection of loos, commodes and bidets has been curated to document the history of sanitation.
Everything from King Louis XIV's personal 'throne' to a modern day portable toilet in a tent are displayed at the sprawling Sublabh International Museum of Toilets in New Delhi, India.
Causing a stink: The International Museum of Toilets, in New Delhi, India boasts a vast collection of the bizarre loos from across the centuries worldwide




Many of the toilet specimens are replicas, like this two-storey loo, left, and this basic outdoor cubicle, right







Hundreds flock each month to browse the facts, pictures and artifacts that date back to 2,500 BC.

'It is indeed a very unusual museum and it's the only one of its kind in the world,' says Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of the NGO Sulabh International, who has founded the museum.

'A highlight of the museum is the replica of the throne of King Louis the XIV. The king is believed to have used this to defecate while conducting court sessions.'

Toilet humour: The walls are covered in toilet room jokes and parodies. Among the collection is this cushioned loo, left, which was used in Europe's clubs, helping members to keep an eye on table stakes



High design:  The Victorians decorated their toilets with floral designs, left, while one pot from French Royalty in the 1700's mocked the English by being designed as a stack of classic literature


But setting up the museum was no easy task – with curators scouring the globe for unusual toilet-related artefacts.

'We gathered models from across the globe. We have models from over 50 countries here. And, our collection is only increasing,' says Pathak.

From the 'chamber pot for ladies' of the 1700's to the 'French commode disguised as a stool with books', the museum houses hundreds of toilet models.

Multi-purpose: There was little chance Louis XIV would forget he was king as he sat on his throne-like chamber, left, while right, this toilet doubled-up as a table






Inventive: Among some of the more creative specimens are, from left, the modern portable loo, the Japanese electronic push button toilet and an electric loo that burns human waste into ash
Extremes: From a carefully designed decorative wash basin to a portable toilet inside a pop-up tent, the museum has something from every occasion




'Once the portable toilets came inside the home, they looked very odd. The French designed a toilet which looked like a bookcase. On this toilet was written the names of literary classics,' reads the description on a French commode.

'We also have the electric toilet. It burns human waste and converts it into ash,' said a museum guide.

These outdoor toilets were designed to provide sanitation for 10 people for three years





Through the ages: One toilet has advertising for a bakery in Las Vegas on the lid, left, while pictures of 18th and 19th century toilets form Europe show a variety of styles and designs

The museum also has an extensive display of privies, chamber pots, toilet furniture, bidets and water closets.

'We founded the museum to give a message,' said Gaurav Chandra, the museum's coordinator.

'It's an education for students, who can learn about historical trends in development of toilets.

'India faces a big challenge in sanitation sector. So our museum helps policy makers to understand the efforts that were made in this field in the past.'

Founded by Dr Pathak in 1970, Sulabh is now the largest non-governmental organisation in India with over 50,000 volunteers. It works to promote environmental sanitation and waste management.

Mr Chandra added: 'Sanitation is a huge issue in India. This museum is a kind of reminder. We want people to come and see.'

The museum made it to the list of the Top 10 'Weird and Unusual' museums in the world earlier this year.

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