After more than five years of renovations, the emblematic Maritime Museum reopened its doors to the public on November 17 at the Palais de Chaillot, in Paris. With a new architecture, a new scenography, and even an exclusive marine fragrance which enhance a unique collection around the world of the sea.
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The models of the warships are still there, as are the paintings of storms and shipwrecks by Claude-Joseph Vernet. But everything else has changed. The museum has taken on the appearance of an ocean liner, sometimes of docks: “ We have changed the meaning of this museum which, since Louis XV, has told more or less the history of the National Navy, explains Vincent Campredon, director of the National Maritime Museum. We wanted to open this museum to all audiences and to the issues of today and tomorrow. Of course, on the place of the magnificent (…) that France possesses but also through events. We reproduced the port of Le Havre with all its containers. It’s quite original in a museum. Tell stories, raise awareness, educate so that everyone knows that the sea is the future of humanity. »
Several senses engaged
A museum renovated in substance but also in form and which even appeals to the sense of smell: “ We created a home fragrance called “sea wake”, made of algae, waves, the open sea, so that we really have the impression of being at sea. Today we are working on a sound identity. »
The visitor will also be able to see the model of the Royal Louis, a five-meter-long vessel with 124 cannons built in the 18th century, the gilded and almost intact decor of Louis XIV’s Réale galley or even an immense figurehead of Napoleon as Roman emperor. New objects have been acquired or even made from scratch, such as a Lego wind farm. In total, 1000 models and objects are presented using fun, sensory and immersive devices.
After more than five years of work, the Maritime Museum has undergone a transformation. From a history museum, it has become a society museum to embark on all maritime worlds. “ We know that younger generations are passionate about the future of their world », concludes the Commissioner General.
Renovated at a total cost of 72.2 million euros, the museum aims to welcome 300,000 visitors per year, three times more than when it closed.
(And with AFP)