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Varde, Denmark

Varde is building a museum to tell the stories of refugees

Varde is building a museum to tell the stories of refugees

FLIGHT – Refugee Museum of Denmark aims to turn statistics into people

On 30 November, the Danish Municipality of Varde announced that it will soon unveil a museum dedicated to the stories of refugees. With financial support worth DKK 25,180,000 (over EUR 3.3 million) from the Nordea Foundation, the city hopes to officially inaugurate FLIGHT – Refugee Museum of Denmark in 2022.

An audio-visual experience

In a press release, the municipality explains that the museum will first tell the story of the 250,000 Germans who fled to Denmark following World War II. Of these 250,000 civilians, 35,000 reportedly ended up in Varde’s Oksbølle refugee camp.

For this reason, guests of the museum will be able to walk through Oksbøllejren and view the site of a former church. Upon standing where the church once stood, the guests will hear audio which gives the illusion of standing in a high-ceiling church room. Commenting on the use of audio-visual content, Museum Director Claus Kjeld Jensen shared:

“Thanks to the support for the exhibition, we now have the opportunity to create a visual and auditory experience, which takes guests out into the entire area around the museum and at the same time far into the subject. It is a complex theme that we talk about, and it calls for an innovative way of bringing the story to life and providing space for conversation.”

Turning numbers into people

After illustrating the story of the civilian Germans, the museum will address the more current topic of refugees; that is, it will turn statistics and numbers into people by sharing the personal stories of refugees from Vietnam, Bosnia, and Syria, among others.

Head of Distribution at the Nordea Foundation, Christine Paludan-Müller, commented on the significance of the museum, noting that it is an ambitious attempt to tell the stories of refugees in a new and innovative way. As the subject is highly topical, FLIGHT will have the power to influence the narrative and show people that the refugees are real people with real lives, not numbers and statistics.

The municipality estimates that the museum will welcome 100,000 guests every year.

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