World’s First Polar Museum Opens In France
As well as educating us, museums help to spread awareness of a particular subject by showing us things that we wouldn’t otherwise get to see. Whether it’s ideas and artefacts from the past that we may never have the opportunity to see again or things from the present that can only be found in far away or remote places, these attractions spread knowledge and understanding through entertainment.
Until recently there wasn’t a museum entirely dedicated to the Arctic and Antarctic regions, but a new exhibition has opened in France to change this. Located in the small town of Prémanon, close to the border with Switzerland, the ‘Museum of the Space of the Polar Worlds’ aims to show people what life is like in the remote poles. It looks at subjects like how animals have adapted to living here, what the differences between the two regions are, how the indigenous people have learnt to thrive and what scientific research is currently taking place.
As well as informing people what the Arctic and Antarctic are like today, the museum also poses the question of what they will be like in the future. Videos and photographs are used to encourage a discussion on climate change, highlighting the importance of protecting these fragile ecosystems. In a year where serious concerns are being raised about the reduction in sea ice, the exhibitions will look at what some of the consequences of this might be.
The Space of the Polar Worlds is the brainchild of Jean-Christophe Victor, whose father, Paul-Emile Victor, was a famous French polar explorer. It features expedition notes and artefacts from Paul-Emile’s adventures, documenting his findings and showing some examples of Inuit art amongst other findings.
The building itself is also a work of art, mimicking the shape of an iceberg. Just like these magnificent natural structures, a large amount of the museum’s architecture lies underneath the ground, which adds to the feeling that you are entering an otherworldly environment. Sadly, Jean-Christophe Victor passed away in December of last year, meaning he will be unable to see the impact his museum will have. However, he is quoted as wanting visitors to “feel the beauty of these polar landscapes and lights, of the disproportion of man in relation to the nature which surrounds him”.
As well as the various permanent and temporary exhibitions, the polar museum also features a conference room, restaurant and ice-skating rink. Entrance fees for the museum are €8 for adults and €4 for children, whilst skating costs €6 for adults and €4 for children.
If you would like to see the beauty of the Polar Regions for yourself, we have a range of fantastic Antarctic and Arctic cruises available. We can find the right cruise line for you to sail with and the right itinerary on the right dates, helping you to plan the trip of a lifetime. Call us for free on 0808 231 4814 for more details or to book your next adventure.