Watch: Expo 2020 Dubai opens a portal to travel through time to watch the construction of Notre Dame Cathedral, at the France Pavilion

Visitors visit the France pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai
Image Credit: Virendra Saklani / Gulf News

Dubai: the weather is not linear inside the France Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

On the one hand, authentic volumes of the almost three-hundred-year-old Encyclopedia, and on the other, a prototype of what the future of air freight could be. A common point that attaches the many tendrils of time to the France Pavilion is mobility, which Erik Linquier, commissioner general of the France Pavilion, is delighted with.

“The key issue for people is smooth and convenient mobility in smart cities; they shouldn’t have to spend hours in traffic jams, ”he told Gulf News in an interview. “For example, you may know that the metro line that goes to Expo was built and is now operated by a French company [Thales]. “


Erik Linquier, General Commissioner of the France Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai
Image Credit: Virendra Saklani / Gulf News

Durable and mobile

In the Mobility District, the country continues to defend sustainability through its participation. Around 2,500 square meters of stylish Akuo Energy solar tiles on its facade and roof convert the UAE’s abundant sunshine into 70% energy for use.

And beyond the Expo race, the France Pavilion will once again be erected as a native land, more precisely in Toulouse, for the French space agency CNES. Linquier hoped that the many twinkling lights outside the pavilion during the day and at night would drive attendance where French mobility is best represented.

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Original encyclopedia of Diderot and d’Alembert at the pavilion
Image Credit: Virendra Saklani / Gulf News

Travel back in time to discover Notre-Dame

Chew this, for example. A portable gadget holds the key to the past, present and future. There’s the clatter of metals and the clatter of donkeys dragging planks of wood, all against what appears to be the scaffolding of the famous medieval Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris. What visitors see is the construction phase of the church in 1180 using a small interactive device called HistoPad.


Guests visiting “Notre-Damne de Paris, the Experience” of L’Oréal and the Histovery exhibition at the pavilion
Image Credit: Virendra Saklani / Gulf News

Histovery’s augmented reality (AR) technology visualizes the monument’s 850-year history, down to the smallest detail – it’s the result of a year of research with the right experts, architects and historians from each era.

“I’m sure you know about Napoleon’s coronation at Notre Dame – it’s a very famous painting. However, not many people know what was going on on the other side, ”said Bruno de Sa Moreira, CEO of Histovery, during an exclusive demonstration of the exhibition with Gulf News.

De Sa Moreira scans the year 1804, pasted on one of the six podiums, and scrolls the screen, which presents the newly crowned Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte I and his kneeling wife Joséphine the Empress.

“The walls of the church suffered a lot of damage during the French Revolution, so Napoleon had them covered with royal hangings,” he added, zooming in on the great hall and the arch behind, plunging the viewer directly in the event.


France Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai
Image Credit: Virendra Saklani / Gulf News

Prepared in collaboration with L’Oréal, the Notre Dame de Paris Experience is a limited-time exhibition, exclusive to the France Pavilion until November 1, 2021. This preview of the futuristic museum will then host a version in Paris, North America and in other parts of Asia.

“There is not a single country in the world that has not donated to rebuild the church after the recent fire. While it’s being restored, we still want people to be able to visit it and even choose ‘when’, ”said De Sa Moreira, who wants his technology to improve art exhibitions. “I wouldn’t say it’s the future of museums but ‘a’ future, maybe.”

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