It’s hard to imagine the Oceanographic Museum changing. It’s such a beloved icon of Monaco. It doesn’t matter how many times one visits it; there’s a joyful feeling like visiting an old friend, and yet there’s always some nuance and new insight to be gained each time. Well, our friend is undergoing a futuristic make-over – a stunning one that will combine the best of the familiar with avante-garde exhibitions. HelloMonaco will give you an inkling of what you can expect that will keep us both proud and thrilled for many more years.
The best of modern technology is going to make the Oceanographic Museum an even greater educational experience. Prince Albert I’s explorations of the seas are still going to dominate the entire ground floor with high-tech somersaults bringing Prince Albert I himself to life in theatres in the alcoves – believe it or not you will hear him and virtually see him. Integrate some first-class acting and digitized sound and some high-tech wizardry and you are “back to the future”. Prince Albert I’s explorations and advanced concepts paved the way for our modern-day approaches to protecting the Oceans.
Front and centre remains Prince Albert I’s laboratory but with a turbo – charged educational dimension, “see, touch, feel and imagine yourself carrying out marine research”.
Then imagine yourself on a sea voyage – except hi-tech will virtually put you there – and there is a real boat that is being meticulously built by artisans awaiting your awe and pleasure. Take the helm and steer it through a storm. Everything is possible with the revolutionary modern technology that is being applied. Don’t leave your camera behind; you will want to film yourself. A selfie marine paradise awaits.
Pause to ward off any feeling of sea-sickness (don’t worry you will only be feeling exhilarated) and be introduced to the contribution Prince Rainier III made toward the regulatory framework for preservation of the Oceans – and yet more hi-tech theatre – this time with the legendary Captain Cousteau and Calypso. Then to top all the prior experiences head for the special tunnel where you will go on a kind of dive, part real, part virtual in a submersible.
There is a lot more to fascinate the well over half a million regular visitors – but also for specially planned visits by scientists (to see the experiments that will be able to be continually carried out at the Museum), and visits of dignitaries, heads of state and politicians to dialogue with and assist Prince Albert. They will all be able to follow the past and future explorations of the Yersin with the latest in HD imaging. Preserving the Oceans needs constant attention to building awareness and major political support on a global scale. Hi-tech wizardry will enable Prince Albert II to get his message out via a hologram (yes a hologram!) in the Oceangraphic Museum. No effort or tools are spared in order to add special effects in the service of spreading the word about the goals and battles of the Prince Albert II Foundation (acidification of the oceans, protecting special marine areas, overfishing, endangered species such as turtles. Entertaining, educational and effective – all to create awareness and the political will to act to preserve the Oceans.
Back to a combination of fun and education – game playing where you are a powerful decision maker and must make choices. On the ship will be an interactive table and interactive globe to stimulate interest and game-playing by individuals and groups. The Oceanographic Museum of the future is full of activities – a giant leap from the passive museums of yesteryear.
All this is music to the people who are active in bringing about this evolution tantamount to a revolution – although the charm of the Museum will remain. They work so hard to keep the Oceanographic Museum the icon it is. They include director of the Oceanographic Museum, Robert Calcagno and Patrick Piguet, Director of Heritage and Curator.
And enlisted to oversee, manage and help with this major futuristic project are: the architecture and scenography firm Koya and Clemence Farrell. Les Films d’ici are responsible for the mini-films. All this takes not a small investment with three million euros coming from the Oceanographic’s own funds and also supported by the Paul Hamel foundation.
So many special related things are happening at once for your enjoyment parallel to this major transformation of the Oceanographic Museum targeted for July; a comic book on Prince Albert-1st is being released and there is to be a future turtle care center. Wonderful!