Michel Bassompierre’s Giants of the Ice take up residence at the Musée Océanographique de Monaco

A gigantic Emperor penguin stands watch over the lobby of the Musée Océanographique de Monaco and four colossal polar bears look out over the Principality from the rooftop of the museum. The magnificent animals might not be real-life, but these Giants of the Ice certainly command a lot of attention.  

On 10th April, Prince Albert II of Monaco officially inaugurated the Musée Océanographique’s latest exhibition. Featuring five works of sculptural art by Michel Bassompierre, the Giants of the Ice exhibit is designed to inspire visitors and bring to the fore important questions and discussions on the vulnerability of the world’s polar regions.  

Bassompierre is a well-known French artist whose signature style is creating giant contemporary sculptures of animals, and he created each of these five animal sculptures specifically for the exhibition. 

“For 50 years I have been creating animal sculptures, as I find animals to be extraordinary and beautiful,” he says. “I want to protect animals through my sculptures by raising awareness, as animal life is so important to environmental stability… The duty of artists is to share our sense of beauty, to create wonder. This reconnection to the beauty of nature is essential to inspire the desire to protect it.” 

Prince Albert II of Monaco was given the honour of inaugurating the new temporary exhibit, which will run until 6th October. Photo credit: Frédéric Pacorel / Musée Océanographique de Monaco 

Visitors will first encounter the Emperor penguin in the welcome hall, while the polar bears can be enjoyed on the rooftop terrace of the museum.  

Other works from Bassompierre, including original sketches, drawings and a film, are also on display in the main exhibition space.  

The Giants of the Ice exhibition will run until 6th October.

Check out our Instagram reel below:


Read related: 

Art meets conservation in Michel Bassompierre’s ‘The Giants of Ice’ at the Musée Océanographique


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Photo credit: Frédéric Pacorel / Musée Océanographique de Monaco