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Paris - UNESCO

Deeper than Light opens in Paris

26 March, 2007 the full travelling version of “Deeper than Light” opened at UNESCO House Paris. A group of over 100 invitees were on hand for the official opening.

In their welcoming speeches, Patricio A. Bernal, the Assistant Director General of UNESCO and the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and Walter Erdelen, the Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, spoke about the relevance of marine research and exploration (see pictures).

H. E. Mr Harald Neple, the Ambassador of the Norwegian Delegation at UNESCO added his welcoming remarks.


Bernal had been instrumental in inviting the exhibition to UNESCO.

Because of his work with IOC he stresses the importance of international collaboration and added to the exhibition many posters highlighting the numerous different research activities supported by the global initiative, Census of Marine Life (CoML).


MAR-ECO, the research project supporting “Deeper than Light” is one of CoML’s initial Pilot Projects.

Results and methodologies from MAR-ECO are now being used in new research proposals such as one to explore southern portions of the mid-Atlantic Ridge.


At UNESCO, “Deeper than Light” is situated in one of the main thoroughfares in the UNESCO conference building on Place de Fontenoy.

As such it is ‘visited’ by numerous dignitaries, conference participants and UNESCO staff throughout the long UNESCO working days.


A number of visitors and staff from UNESCO have commented that it was one of the more interesting exhibitions to have been shown there.

This week UNESCO hosts the annual conference of its “Good Will” ambassadors including the Queen of Jordon and Rachel Welsh among many others. (We hope that they will sign the exhibition guest book!).

Because of the nature of the exhibition hall, 11m high ceilings and glass walls on two sides, and because of security considerations due to the visit of the Queen of Jordon, “Deeper than Light” was able to demonstrate its flexible and adaptable nature.


It was not possible to use the modular film tent unit and the displays were shown in full daylight instead of darkness or semi-obscurity.

The response from the public clearly showed that the marvels of the deep are also fascinating in full daylight.

(see more pictures from the exhibition)


The exhibition’s next stop is Matosinhos, a coastal fishing village that is now a suburb of Porto, Portugal. In June it will help to inaugurate a new Marine Discovery Centre located right on the beach. The Centre is a collaboration between the local community council and research leaders at Centro Interdisiplinar de Inversigação Marinha e Ambiental (CIIMAR).

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