BOAT MUSEUM: The Famous ‘Port Musée'
With nearly 250 vessels, Douarnenez boat museum is the proud owner of the top French collection of traditional boats.
The ‘Port-Musée', modernised in 2005-6, displays everything associated with Brittany's maritime culture and indeed worldwide.
Artefacts, memories, multimedia and more produce a global perspective of boats and men. Here, the hulls, sails, oars, motors and even personal effects of those who spent their lives at sea all bear witness to mankind's relationship with boats.
What can boats teach us about the lands and cultures that produced them?
How can they help us to understand how mankind has staked his claim on the environment and its resources?
How can they represent the geographical identity of the people that made them?
Do they have an inherent universal value?
The collection encompasses over 200 crafts and 5000 objects, of which only a selection can ever be displayed at one time, portraying why boats are so symbolic of the identity of their land and their people.
While the museum focuses particularly on boats from Brittany's own history, this in itself is representative of the larger world, as recorded in the words of Portuguese writer Torga:
"Universal? That's just local without the walls."
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