Two unique polar expeditions on display in Oslo.

Leader of the DAMOCLES project, Jean-Claude Gascard, at the exhibition at the Frammuseum in Oslo. Photo: Erlend Hermansen

Leader of the DAMOCLES project, Jean-Claude Gascard, at the exhibition at the Frammuseum in Oslo. Photo: Erlend Hermansen

The exhibition consists of posters with images, texts and graphs that compare the polar schooners Tara and Fram. It provides insight into the purpose and organising of the expeditions, daily life on board as well as the scientific work.

During the years 1893–1896, Fram crossed the Polar Sea, frozen into the ice by drifting in a transpolar current. One hundred years later, the French schooner Tara completed the same journey. During the trip, scientists on board Tara collected samples of ice, ocean and atmosphere in order to improve our understanding of climate change in the north. The expedition is part of the European polar research project DAMOCLES.

Tara drifted 88 degrees north, 160 kilometers from the North Pole. No other ship has reached this far north. In comparison, Fram reached 86 degrees north more than a hundred years ago. Tara followed the same route as Fram, but drifted much faster. While Fram drifted for three years, Tara spent 17 months covering the same distance.

The exhibition was opened by the French ambassador in Oslo, madame Brigitte Collet, and the leader of DAMOCLES, Jean-Claude Gascard, was present at the opening.

“There are striking similarities between the schooners and the expeditions, at the same time as they represent totally different worlds when it comes to the technological level , for instance in communication with the outside world and scientific instruments,” Gascard said during the opening.

The project is a collaboration of Tara Expeditions in Paris and the Fram museum, as well as the French Cultural Centre in Oslo.

Will show visitors past and present

The Fram museum has more than 300,000 visitors annually. Hence, the museum has a good opportunity to reach out to the public with information about the polar areas.

“The story about the Fram expedition is exciting and fascinating, and a good starting point for imparting knowledge about the Polar areas,” said director of the Fram museum Geir O. Kløver.

“By bringing in the Tara exhibition together with the regular Fram exhibition, we can impart a modern and popular science version of a polar expedition and the science related to it, at the same time as the visitors get an interesting picture of the past and the present,” Kløver said.

The exhibition lasts until the end of 2008.

Jun 26, 2008
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