News

05 July 2013

Planet Ocean in the heart of the Mediterrenean

Barcelona hosts a photographic exhibition that transforms our way of looking at the oceans and encourages us to love them, value them and protect them. OMEGA and GoodPlanet cooperate on a project that aims to increase our awareness through knowledge and an appreciation of beauty.

The "Atarazanas Reales" at the Barcelona Maritime Museum: The ideal place to discover the true value and secrets of our "Blue Planet".

The Planet Ocean exhibition has sailed into Barcelona. The city will be a very special port of call in a voyage that aims to dazzle our visual senses with the astonishing beauty of our oceans. A project created by the GoodPlanet Foundation in collaboration with OMEGA, and which aims to publicise the urgent need to protect the fragile environmental balance of marine ecosystems.

In the exceptional setting of the Atarazanas Reales, or “Royal Dockyards”, at the Museu Marítim in Barcelona, the public are offered a double portrait of the world’s oceans thanks to the talents of two environmentally committed photographers, Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Brian Skerry. From above, the aerial viewpoint of Yann Arthus-Bertrand, with its impressive aesthetic impact, seeks to inspire us through the amazing beauty of a universal heritage that the exhibition invites us to discover, value and protect. From below, Brian Skerry’s stunning underwater images offer us a unique vision of the picturesque panorama of marine life. Both viewpoints are complementary and provide simultaneous portraits that reveal both the intense beauty and the extreme fragility of the world’s oceans.



The spectacular nature of the images, combined with information and data that are as specific as they are surprising and revealing, remind us of the importance of the oceans for the survival of the planet. They make us aware of the threats that gather over it, through the impact produced by a vision that is both totally innovative and utterly breathtaking.

Planet Ocean, however, is an exhibition that doesn’t only seek to dazzle us with the beauty captured by Arthus-Bertrand and Skerry’s cameras. Its main aim is to wake us up, to mobilise us, to make us the ambassadors of a key message for the survival of the planet: that it is the responsibility of all of us to protect our oceans. More than an exhibition, it is an urgent call to action: each and every one of us can contribute to the protection of our oceans, through specific, individual actions that could have a real impact on the safeguarding of marine biodiversity.

With this in mind, the Museu Marítim is also hosting photography workshops for young people, offering open-air viewings of the documentary feature-film Planet Ocean and providing access to documentary and photographic material that will help us to share the immense beauty of our ocean ecosystems but at the same time the urgent need to preserve them.



The exhibition is being held at the Museu Marítim in Barcelona, an institution that is over 80 years old and is dedicated to the sea and all related subjects. Its mission is to preserve, study and share one of the most important collections of maritime legacy in the Mediterranean. It includes major historical and artistic heritage assets: paintings and drawings, archives, boats, furniture, and collections of books and marine charts. Its objective is to conserve these assets for future generations and to make them available to the general public. Just as important as the contents of its collections is the building that houses them, known as the Atarazanas Reales, or “Royal Dockyards”, dating from the 16th century and created in the same style as an identical building located a few metres closer to the sea. Major ships of historical importance were built there, including the Royal Galley of Don Juan de Austria, the captain of the Spanish fleet at the Battle of Lepanto. A reproduction of the galley can be seen in the museum.


The architectural complex, built in the Gothic style, is located on the city’s sea-front at the foot of the mountain of Monjuic. It is a unique example of its kind, both in terms of its structure and its state of conservation and was declared a Historical and Artistic Monument in 1976. It was recently re-opened after three years of the refurbishment work that has made it necessary to keep the permanent exhibition closed until the end of 2014, when Barcelona will finally boast a brand new Maritime Museum. Until that time, visitors will have a unique opportunity to visit the magnificent edifice in its current empty and stripped-down state, with only a small number of boats from the permanent collection on display along with some occasional temporary exhibitions.     
  

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