Imagine you can plunge yourself in 100 years of history, being part of the crew of a historical vessel which is travelling across seas to the discovery of marine biodiversity. Imagine to try this experience for yourself testing both vintage and advanced amazing technologies. Imagine to interact with key players of the Grimaldi’s Family and to Prince Albert II of Monaco, Himself.
Since the 14th July, that dream has become true at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. Hello Monaco offers you a preview after a special on-site visit last Thursday (12th July 2018).
A new permanent renovated French-English section, “Explorez” (Let us Explore) on the first floor of the historical “Musée” is entirely devoted to the marine exploration and the preservation of the oceans: “Monaco & l’Océan: de l’exploration à la protection” (Monaco and the Ocean: from exploration to protection). An inspiring exhibition path of 700 square meters, made in few months, dominated by a wooden ship skeleton, three meters high, aimed at attracting the attention of all visitors to three prominent Monegasque figures united by their passion of the “blue ecosystem”. «The main idea was to stay on the marine topic by creating a fully integrated iconic shape which includes innovative electromechanical and multi-screen appliances able to involve the public», pointed out Clémence Farrell, expert in Scenography and Interior Designer, graduated in Paris at the École National Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, who conceived the structure.
On the ground floor, Prince Albert I, nicknamed the “Prince of the Oceans”, is ready to guide you to his adventurous sea expeditions on board of the scientific vessel like Hirondelle equipped with most advanced technologies and laboratory equipment, for those times (early 1900s). That is made possible thanks to some optical theatres which are projecting the Sovereign’s figure talking to us, very well-interpreted by an actor. Indeed, the 28 sea journeys from Cabo Verde to the Poles, sponsored by Prince Albert I, revolutionized the scientific knowledge about the marine life through unpublished documents, first experiments of photography, studies at stereoscope, drawings, collections of new species of fauna and flora emphasizing via Media the importance of preserving the marine environment ahead of its time.
Inside the vessel, you go through the strong eco-commitment shown by Prince Rainier III in favour of marine ecosystems against major risks of pollution from the 1970’s to the 1990’s, supported by the Commander Jacques-Yves Cousteau, oceanographic researcher aboard the mythical Calypso, a former Royal Navy vessel reconverted into a lab ship. A key engagement to increase eco-awareness of the oceans, contributing to the creation of the concept of Sustainable Development clearly expressed by an effective multiple screen tech gallery allowing the visitors to discover the deep sea, to almost 200 meters depth.
On the top floor, a life-size reproduction of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, result of advanced technologies projected on a transparent screen with an outstanding panoramic view of the Principality, represents an effective connection to present and future times marked by the ongoing international commitment by the present Sovereign and His Foundation to environmental causes strongly linked to the Blue Planet. Ocean acidification; establishment worldwide of new Marine Protected Areas for the safeguarding of marine species; actions and campaigns against plastic pollution, overfishing and climate change effects. These are some of the pivotal issues pursued by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, founder and promoter of Monaco Explorations (@MonacoExplores 2017-2020) and Monaco Blue Initiative (@FPA2, launched in 2010). Visitors are thus invited to reflect on them, using interactive spots.
«This new-concept showroom, integral part of the tour at the Musée Océanographique, is intended to create a dialogue with the audience who is asked to interact, amuse and engage themselves in the protection of marine ecosystems during and after their visit», highlighted Robert Calcagno, Director of the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco.
An area definitely devoted to eco-messages and boosting sustainable actions, as reaffirmed by Olivier Dufourneaud, Ocean policy Director at Institut Océanographique. And you, are you ready to test all this?