Designed like a giant iceberg, a new museum dedicated entirely to the Arctic and the Antarctic has opened in Prémanon, France. And just like a frozen floe, over 60% of the Espace des Mondes Polaires Paul-Emile Victor museum is actually located beneath the surface.
Much of the museum’s collection is made up of documents and objects that belonged to the great French explorer Paul-Emile Victor who travelled extensively across both Polar regions. It includes an assortment of notes, manuscripts and expedition reports as well as footage shot in the Arctic. Other objects on show include Inuit art, kayaks, pottery and stuffed animals such as polar bears and wolves.
Founded by Victor’s son, Jean-Christophe, one of the key objectives of the museum is to highlight the changes both regions are currently undergoing. As well as a permanent exhibition, the museum will host a number of temporary displays regarding the Arctic and Antarctic. It also has an ice rink and a restaurant.
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Espace des Mondes Polaires Paul-Emile Victor is one of a number of museums dedicated to the Polar Regions. Others include The Polar Museum in Cambridge, England ; the Arctic & Antarctic Museum in St Petersburg; Andréexpedition Polarcenter Museum in Gränna, Sweden; and the Polarship Fram Museum Museum in Oslo.
Antarctica itself is slowly opening up to tourism, however, as it is a very delicate environment, there are strict regulations regarding any expedition cruises.
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