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“Oceans face-to-face”: an awesome publication at the Oceanographic Museum

Plunged in the wonders of the abyss browsing the pages of a book out of the ordinary. Imagination or reality? Can a book change the point of view of readers and raise awareness for the protection of the marine ecosystem? In Monaco all this has become real thanks to an innovative editorial project. ‘Océans face à face’ (Oceans, face-to-face), this is the title of new publication from Éditions Leduc by Pierre Frolla, ‘made in Monaco’ world champion in apnea and record man whose special empathy with the most amazing creatures of the deep sea is unique.

The book is accompanied by wonderful photos by Greg Lecoeur, undisputed expert in underwater photography worldwide. The extraordinary outcome was presented on Wednesday afternoon, the 10th November 2021, at the Oceanographic Museum within an inspiring event in the presence of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, under the umbrella of His Foundation (FPA2) and the Musée Océanographique.

“Oceans face-to-face”: an awesome publication at the Oceanographic Museum
Pierre Frolla and Greg Lecoeur showing the book “Océans face à face” to the audience besides an iconic ice sculpture (Oceanographic Museum, 10th November 2021).© Maurizio Abbati HelloMonaco 2021

The event proved to be a true success in terms of audience including the main Monegasque institutions and associations. HelloMonaco was there to offer a meaningful ‘snapshot’ of the meeting where an outstanding video introduced the incredible adventure of the two protagonists, face to face with the most spectacular sea creatures, notably humpback whales, dolphins, sea lions, sharks, saltwater crocodiles and sea turtles. A kaleidoscope of living forms totally at their ease with the world champion of apnea who can approach wild marine species without any protection. A way to contemplate the beauty of the blue ecosystem and reflect on how important is to preserve this treasure so essential to our life on Earth, thus modifying our homocentric vision.

“Oceans face-to-face”: an awesome publication at the Oceanographic Museum
Opening speech by Robert Calcagno at the book launch of “Océans face à face” (Oceanographic Museum, 10th November 2021).© Maurizio Abbati HelloMonaco 2021

Pierre Frolla has the ability to make his followers and partners dream in every project he is involved”, underlined in his opening speech Robert Calcagno, CEO of the Oceanographic Institute Foundation Albert I, Prince of Monaco – “In view of the recent participation of the Sovereign Prince to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Scotland where important new commitments have been made,  we are even more convinced that initiatives like this in line with Monaco Explorations are valuable”, he concluded.

Since I became a father, I have felt the need t to change the way to raise awareness of protecting our Planet’s environment: that is showing the pure beauty of Nature to touch people’s feelings”, outlined Pierre Frolla – “I decided then to have vis-a-vis, on my side, someone capable to show the most beautiful side of the underwater wild world through breathtaking images and not simple photos and to create a special empathy with the greatest ocean living beings via a universal visual language”.

“Oceans face-to-face”: an awesome publication at the Oceanographic Museum
Pierre Frolla and Greg Lecoeur introducing their editorial project & breathtaking images (Oceanographic Museum, 10th November 2021).© Maurizio Abbati HelloMonaco 2021

From the fantastic shots which flowed on the screen, a great respect for Nature was crystal clear.

“We, human beings, must understand that our role is not to tame animals but to let them live in their environment”, outlined the world record man – “Oceans are the ideal places where you can get in close contact with really wild creatures which deepen the knowledge of our Planet; so, I identify myself with the whale being the very emblem of mammals warmth and unique sense of motherhood as well as the ambassador of any other animal”, he said by adding:  This project involved us for a long time in major tropical and Caribbean regions in order to understand the dynamics of underwater creatures and make them accept us as guests of their water world”.

I have been doing photo reporting dedicated to the marine life for a long time and I can say that we must always take a humble approach to the natural world reducing to the minimum the use or artificial devices like the flashlight, to stay true to the natural nuances”, stressed Greg Lecoeur during the round table conference – “If you act in this way the animals themselves will spontaneously approach you” – “We cannot talk about a true relationship with a wild creature but a feeling based on mutual glances and knowledge about every-species behavioural dynamics like filming sharks or crocodiles without favouring their possible attacks”, the skilled photographer admitted by adding – “The first thing to do, therefore, is to examine the character reaction of each animal species while diving closer to them: they can be really involved in you or just ignore your presence or being bothered sometimes”.

“Oceans face-to-face”: an awesome publication at the Oceanographic Museum
Pierre Frolla commenting on some meaningful images depicting him with a group of humpback whales (Oceanographic Museum, 10th November 2021).© Maurizio Abbati HelloMonaco 2021

A job that requires great patience and know-how to be ready to capture the memorable combination, being in the right place at the right split second in good weather conditions for the best outcome.

Océans face à face (Oceans face to face) represents then a journey out of the ordinary which promises to give strong and poetic emotions to anyone who will leaf through its pages, a feeling that came to the surface within the substantial book launch.

To know more about the book please visit: https://www.editionsleduc.com/

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