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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » November 30, 2010
On the town
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Science Center Opens in Warsaw
November 30, 2010   
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The newly opened state-of-the-art Copernicus Science Center in Warsaw is the largest interactive science museum in Central and Eastern Europe.

The futuristic facility opened Nov. 5 with a multimedia show entitled Wielki Wybuch (The Big Bang) and directed by Peter Greenaway. The opening attracted several thousand viewers.

Since then the Copernicus Science Center has been visited by up to 3,000 people every day, a figure that is expected to add up to 500,000 visitors annually, the center’s director, Robert Firmhofer, said.

The Copernicus Science Center currently has around 350 mobile exhibits in six galleries. Next year, the facility will be expanded to include a new gallery, a theater, a planetarium, an 8,000-square-meter roof garden and 100 hands-on exhibits. All the interactive exhibitions, laboratories, conference rooms, restaurants and offices are housed on an area of around 20,000 sq m. In the basement, the Copernicus Science Center has a parking garage and a workshop where the exhibitions are prepared and maintained.

The three-floor Copernicus Science Center building was designed by architects Buro Happold and the RAr-2 Architecture Laboratory in the southern Polish city of Ruda ¦l±ska in a project supervised by Jan Kubec.

The construction project began in 2008 and cost around zl.365 million, 207 million of which was a grant from the EU. In terms of size, the Warsaw center is comparable to the largest science museum in Spain, called CosmoCaixa. Opened in 2005 in Barcelona, it has a surface area of 30,000 sq m and cost 100 million euros to build.

The Copernicus Science Center is financed by the City of Warsaw, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, and the Ministry of Education.

Ever since physicist Frank Oppenheimer founded the world’s first science museum, the Exploratorium, in San Francisco in 1969, around 500 such institutions have been opened worldwide. They are particularly popular in Europe.

Next year, the Copernicus Science Center will host a conference of the European Network of Science Centers and Museums (ECSITE), one of the most important events in the science sector.

Tomir Mazur
Copernicus Science Center
20 Wybrzeże Ko¶ciuszkowskie St.
Open Tue.-Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., weekends 10 a.m.-7 p.m., closed on Mondays
Tickets zl.11-22
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