After 10 years of work, the Natural History Museum reopens in Bordeaux

After 10 years of work, the Natural History Museum reopens in Bordeaux

The restoration work cost 16 million euros and lasted for a decade. From Sunday, March 31, the institute of the pearl of Aquitaine dedicated to the diversity, evolution and conservation of species will be able to amaze its visitors again.

With the exhibition ranging from plastic waste on the Aquitaine coast to specimens of extinct species, such as the Tasmanian wolf, the Natural History Museum of Bordeaux reopens on Sunday after ten years of work, asking a question that has become more pressing in the meantime: “What does man want for Nature?”After a renovation doubled by an extension, the Museum of Natural History, now “Museum of Bordeaux”, offers in a mansion of the eighteenth century, on 2,300 m2 of space dedicated to the public, more than 4,000 specimens permanently (the museum has 1,010 million), next to semi-permanent and temporary exhibitions, its officials explained Thursday to the press.

Created in 1791, the Natural History Museum of Bordeaux is one of the most important in France in terms of collections, enriched in particular by the contributions of expeditions or commercial fleets throughout the nineteenth century, when Bordeaux was a major international trading port. Before its closure in 2008, “nothing had changed in the extremely dense museography, nineteenth-century type, reflecting the purpose of the natural history museums of the time: an exhaustive inventory of nature,” curator Nathalie Mémoire summed up to the press on Thursday.

Although it has preserved large display cases typical of the late nineteenth century, the Museum looks back at “nature as seen by men”, whether it is the evolution of the classifications of living for two centuries, the evolution of naturalization techniques, or the exploitation of nature. With, for example, elephant tusks carved as a work of art, resulting from Customs seizures on a traffic.

In the digital age

But a Museum in the twenty-first century must do more: “To give thought to biodiversity and its conservation. We have a heritage that could no longer be constituted today, species that are extinct or extremely threatened, so the conservation mission is supplemented by an educational mission that has been further accentuated with a renewed public interest “in recent years for nature and biodiversity.

To carry out this awareness-raising project, the Museum, which has 60,000 to 80,000 visitors a year, will rely on interactivity, multimedia, and playfulness. The focus will be on tactile, the presence of scientific mediators engaging the public, or an “all babies” space where children under six can compare themselves to baby animals, including “den” sensation.

At the end of this 16 million euro project, the Museum was originally scheduled to reopen last November, but had to postpone this date after being partially flooded at the end of May by severe weather.

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