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Art Explora’s Traveling Museum Boat to Set Sail from Marseille

The catamaran will stop in 15 countries from Croatia to Cyprus.

By Irenie Forshaw

The Art Explora Foundation is launching a traveling museum boat, slated to set sail from Marseille in June. Over the next two years, the 154-ft catamaran will stop in 15 countries dotted around the Mediterranean Basin, showcasing an array of artworks including an immersive exhibition created in collaboration with the Louvre.

In every port city the boat visits, the organization will also set up a quayside village with pavilions designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte hosting a wide range of events from dance productions and concerts to open-air screenings and educational workshops.

Set up in 2019 to foster inclusive access to cultural experiences, the Art Explora Foundation has teamed up with several French and international partners for its flagship project. The goal is simple: to make art accessible for all.

[See also: What to Keep an Eye Out for at the 2024 Collect Art Fair]

art exlora exhibition
The immersive exhibition created in collaboration with the Louvre / ©Art Explora

Designed by architects Axel de Beaufort and Guillaume Verdier, the boat is the planet’s largest aluminum sailing catamaran. Built in Italy at the Perini Navi shipyard, she features an 82-ft sail created by Turner prize-winning artist, Laure Prouvost.

After pre-opening stops in Malta and Venice, she will dock in Marseille from June 6-14, 2024. From here, the catamaran will continue on her voyage, making stops in Tangier, Rabat and Malaga before the end of the year.

The biggest draw onboard Art Explora’s museum boat is an immersive exhibition, Présentes, highlighting female figures in Mediterranean civilizations, through the collections of the Louvre. Alongside the exhibition, a short documentary film will be viewed on the aft deck.

Another highlight is the unique soundscape designed by IRCAM which invites guests to close their eyes and fully immerse themselves in a tour of the sounds encountered by the catamaran on her journey through the Mediterranean ports.

“The festival will encourage new forms of audience engagement,” said Bruno Julliard, general director of the Art Explorer Foundation. “It’s a collective adventure that will embark cultural stakeholders, associations, artists and audiences on each journey in a large-scale dialogue about contemporary society.”

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[See also: UK’s Largest Yoko Ono Exhibition Opens at the Tate Modern]

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