The French Hospital awarded

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The French Hospital in Faskrudsfjordur.

The French hospital was awarded last week at the European Heritage Awards 2016. The European Commission and Europa Nostra revealed the winners of the 2016 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards, Europe’s highest honour in the heritage field. The 28 laureates from 16 countries have been recognised for their exemplary achievements in conservation, research, dedicated service, and education, training and awareness-raising. Independent expert juries assessed a total of 187 applications, submitted by organisations and individuals from 36 countries across Europe, and selected the winners. 

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The house before reconstruction.

For more than three hundred years French fishermen sailed to Iceland in search for cod. During this period the french had a significant influence on Icelanders where they introduced new techniques in fishing and built four hospitals in Iceland giving the habitants unprecedented access to health care. It has been estimated that just between the 1825 and the start of the First World War, about four thousands French sailors perished off the coasts of Iceland.

Gagarin produced two interactive tables presenting the French-Icelandic history and a living “memorial“ remembering the sailors who gave their lives in Icelandic waters.

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The memorial wall honors the memory of the French fishermen who lost their lives in the perilous waters of the Icelandic sea. Photo: Jónína Óskarsdóttir

The installation shows the names of the French fishermen that died at sea which drift away under the perpetual motion of an abstract body of water. The names of the fishermen, displayed in golden letters, appear and disappear like memories from a faraway past. Their very essence is at the mercy of the rolling waves.

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Gagarin produced two interactive tables presenting the French-Icelandic history. Photo: Jónína Óskarsdóttir

 

 

Created 11 April 2016