Honoring the benefactors of the museum
The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, an intrinsic part of the Oceanographic Institute, gathered more than 200 guests on Friday, July 3, 2015, to honor its first and current benefactors, who make it possible for this legendary organization to evolve and continue its various actions leading to a better understanding and protection of the oceans and our ecosystem.
For this important occasion two charts with the list of patrons that contributed to the acquisition of the statue of the founder of the museum Prince Albert 1er, were restored. After a meticulous and lengthy process to search for the data, that served to retrace the history of the museum construction and renew the contact with the donors, more than 600 letters were dispatched to Monegasque families whose names were mentioned, among them well known personalities: Allavena, Aureglia, Barral, Bellando, Blanchy, Campana, Crovetto ,Frolla, Gastaud, Marquet, Medecin, Vatrican, just to name a few.
The Jaw of the Megalodon
A surprise was awaiting the privileged guests on the first floor of the Museum, the unveiling of an incredible unique work by French artist Philippe Pasqua, the Jaw of the Megalodon, the largest shark that ever lived. This jaw measuring 2 meters diameter, was recreated with a total 168 real fossil teeth. This masterpiece will be exhibited at the museum until the end of September and hopefully longer! Visitors are invited to take selfies inside the jaw of the Megalodon as souvenirs.
About the prehistoric shark
The Megalodon, a prehistoric shark of 15 to 20 meters long with a mass of nearly 50 tons, now extinct, was present in all the oceans, except the poles, appearing in the mid-Miocene (14 to 16 millions of years ago) until its extinction in the Plio-Pleistocene (1.6 million years ago), according to research scientists, due probably to a barrage of large-scale changes like the multiple tectonic altercations, that altered global patterns, provoking rippling effects in the marine environment. The world the Megalodon inherited was very different form the one it left. This giant shark was not contemporary of the dinosaurs that disappeared 65.5 millions of years ago (even if it is usually compared with them regarding size), and he did not share the habitat with modern man that dates from 100.000 years.
Message from the President of The Friends of the Oceanographic Museum
It was the opportunity the perfect opportunity for the new President of the Association of Friends of the Museum, Victor Hwang, to address the guests with a brief discourse where he praised the work of Robert Calcagno and his team, as well as the museum contributors.
Victor Hwang emphasised that the mission of the museum is to create awareness on the protection of the oceans, underlining that since Robert Calcagno was named Director in 2009, this institution has regained its force and radiance of a century ago when it was founded by Prince Albert 1er and the continuous commitment of HSH Prince Albert II through his foundation. It is under the direction of Calcagno, the museum has welcomed many fabulous artistic exhibitions and created new partnerships with other organizations to encourage research and educational exchanges. It is of no surprise that the museum has been awarded the certificate of excellence from the celebrated application Trip Advisor. He ended his presentation by underlining that the Friends of the Museum has as a mission to assist the teams doing a fantastic work in the institution, with the invaluable help of generous contributors, all becoming part of great family, the lifeline of the museum.
A rain of fireworks
To coronate the evening guests were invited to the rooftop of the museum to enjoy desserts and drinks, and watch the fireworks shot by Switzerland, part of the International Contest of Pyrotechnics organized by the Monaco Town Hall every year. It was the perfect ending for a really enjoyable summer evening at the museum!
“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” Maya Angelou