Ultra-modern Chopin museum opens in Poland

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Sunday 07 March 2010 01:00

A high-tech museum dedicated to the Polish composer and pianist Frederic Chopin opened in Warsaw on Monday to mark the bicentenary of his birth.

"It is among the world's most modern museums," Poland's Culture Minister Bogdan Zdrojewski told reporters at the opening ceremony.

Located in Warsaw's revamped 17th century Ostrogski Palace, perched on a hill near the Vistula River, the museum is designed to plunge visitors into Chopin's universe via cutting-edge audiovisual and interactive technologies.

Monitors, projectors and speakers "allow the visitor to individually choose a route through the museum adapted to their needs and capacities of perception," museum curator Alicja Knast told AFP.

A special card with a computer chip allows visitors to access different audio video elements of the exhibition, and a room with cushions and touch-screens allows children to learn about the composer and his era.

The museum also has a large collection of objects linked to Chopin, including manuscripts and first editions of his musical scores, letters, portraits and personal effects.

Chopin's certificate of baptism indicates February 22, 1810, as his birthday, but the composer himself and his family always gave March 1 as his actual birthdate.

He left Poland in 1830 just ahead of an insurrection by Polish independence fighters against Russia. He first moved to Vienna and then settled in Paris where he died in 1849.

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