“Chaplin’s World”, which has been in planning for 15 years, will open in the pretty village of Corsier-sur-Vevey on Lake Geneva, some 15 miles from Lausanne- where the legend spent his last 25 years after he was banished from US on charges of sympathising with the communists.
Chaplin, who was born in Walworth, South London, on April 16, 1889, died aged 88 on Christmas Day 1977.
In the museum there are relicas of the giant machinery in his 1936 film Modern Times.
“He wanted people to remember him. That’s why he did the films and he did it in such a perfectionist way,” Chaplin’s 62-year-old son Eugene said adding: “I think he would be pleased.”
Chaplin’s 70-year-old son Michael said of living in the mansion, where they had around a dozen servants, that “it was like Downton Abbey, on a reduced level. For a child it was wonderful.”
A separate building has been built nearby as a mock-up of a Hollywood studio dedicated to Chaplin’s on-screen work which began around 1914. There are also exhibits about his early years in London, and work with British comedy troupe Casey’s Court circus. There are recreations of the barber shop from The Great Dictator and the restaurant in which his film character ate his shoe in The Immigrant.
Chaplin’s World also has more than 30 wax figures created by the Grevin wax museum in Paris, including his friend Albert Einstein. The iconic objects include his bowler hat and cane and some of his film costumes.
In one glass showcase there is the certificate signed by Queen Elizabeth II when Chaplin was knighted in 1975.