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A New exhibition about Reunion Island opens at the Déri Museum

Reunion is hardly known in Hungary. The island is a tiny dot on the map of our planet, only mentioned in a few short lines in academic textbooks. The tiny island rises from the inky blue depths of the Indian Ocean to the east of Madagascar, above the salty foams of the sea, offering a diverse habitat for plants, animals, and people.

The island’s towering dwarf mountains shake off the clouds, which water the fertile soil of this volcanic landmass with heavy rains. Its enchanting landscapes have long been uninhabited by man, where plants and animals of peculiar appearance have proliferated and flourished in abundance in an environment of paradisiacal beauty and completely undisturbed by civilisation.

It was into this ‘unspoilt’ environment that modern geographical exploration brought mankind, who had sought to expand the known world, and left his footprints and his handprints on the island’s long-unspoilt appearance.

Réunion is now an overseas department of France and, therefore, part of the European Union. The island is some 8,000 kilometres from Paris as the crow flies, with a direct ‘inland’ flight linking it to the charming capital of Réunion, Saint-Denis.

Whereas in the colonial era, wealthy officials and more comfortable travellers often carried themselves in carts, today’s travellers can now rely on their own feet for longer journeys. Lemon-coloured buses run between the major towns along the coast (and towards the major mountain towns). The bright yellow Car Jaune and its ‘little brother’, the ti’Car Jaune, nowadays offer a fast, comfortable, and cosy journey for modern-day ‘explorers’.

The curator of the exhibition, Szilveszter Mező, chief museologist at the Natural History and Environmental Studies Department of the Déri Museum, will introduce visitors to this unique world he travelled through.

Location: Déri Museum, Zoltai Lajos Hall

Open to visitors: Until 7th May 2022