Scan Magazine, Issue 88, May 2016

Page 120

Scan Magazine | Culture Profile | Øhavsmuseet Faaborg

The Town Jail Museum, Kaleko Mill and Heritage Museum are all part of Øhavsmuseet’s bouquet of activities.

In Faaborg, a museum visit is an adventure The Archipelago Museum – or Øhavsmuseet in Danish – is not just a museum in the traditional sense of the word. It is a whole bouquet of adventures that draw you into the incredible history of the old port town of Faaborg in Denmark’s South Funen. By Sanne Wass | Photos: Øhavsmuseet Faaborg

In 1905, in the Danish town of Faaborg, a 16-year-old homesick boy called Janus ended up in a terrible situation when he accidentally caused a fire that killed a girl. This was the beginning of a heart-breaking story of a young criminal, who was put behind bars in the town’s jail. It is also one of the authentic stories visitors are immersed in when they enter what is today the Town Jail Museum – a part of Øhavsmuseet in Faaborg. Step by step, visitors follow Janus’s case and it is up to them to decide if he is guilty. “It’s the complete reverse of a normal museum visit,” explains Peter Thor Andersen, director of Øhavsmuseet. “Here you are encouraged to touch things; you won’t get much out of your visit if you don’t interact. We get overwhelmingly positive reactions from peo120 | Issue 88 | May 2016

ple who are thrilled with how authentic the experience is, and surprised that they get to be so involved.” At Øhavsmuseet history is experienced and explored, not just observed through glass displays. And so the adventure of Faaborg does not end with the Town Jail Museum; in fact, this is just one of many flowers in the bouquet of Øhavsmuseet’s activities. Through tours, horseback rides, geocaches and games, the adventures take you to the most charming places in Faaborg – places that have inspired painters and poets for generations. These include the cosy, narrow streets; the busy port area; and the stunning nature of the Svanninge Hills and the South Funen archipelago, affected by thousands of years of the Ice Age and floods. Just a minute’s walk from the Town

Jail Museum you will find the Heritage Museum – Den Gamle Gård – housed in an 18th century merchant house. A short bike ride takes you to the Kaleko Mill, an old watermill dating back to the 1600s. “Our museum doesn’t just end with one exhibition and then goodbye,” Andersen says. “An important part of our work is about bringing people together – also outside the museum’s own walls. It’s all about being active and exploring this incredible area.”

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