URÊKA

Musée Interactif de la Mine


Useful Information

Location: 1 Avenue Du Brugeaud, 87250 Bessines sur Gartempe.
A20 exit 24, follow the signs.
(46.12341, 1.37204)
Open: Summer school holidays Wed-Sun 10-13, 14-18.
Rest of the year Wed-Sun 14-18.
[2023]
Fee: Adults EUR 7, Children (7-17) EUR 4, Children (0-6) free, Students EUR 4, Unemployed EUR 4, Disabled EUR 4.
Groups (10+): Adults EUR 6, Children (7-17) EUR 3.
[2023]
Classification: SubterraneaBergbaumuseen MineUran
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension:  
Guided tours: D=2 h, Max=60.
Photography:  
Accessibility: yes
Bibliography:  
Address: URÊKA, Musée Interactif de la Mine, 1 Avenue Du Brugeaud, 87250 Bessines sur Gartempe, Tel: +33-532-09-05-60. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1948 begin of uranium mining.
2013 URÊKA wins the Prix Pinocchio (Pinocchio Award) for lying shameless in greenwashing their activities.

Geology

Description

URÊKA is a museum about uranium, and to give the sad topic a funny edge they joke about the uranium mining in an interactive museum. Spectacular, interactive and fun are actually not the terms how we describe a substance which causes hair loss, bleeding eyes, cancer, and death. At least their Escape Game every Friday at 17:45 and 19:15 has a drastic incentive. The museum is newly erected, in an "industrial area" which has a fence and is made invisible on Google Earth. Honi soit qui mal y pense.

We were not able to find a single fact about uranium or mining on their website, and the pictures of the exhibition were similarly disappointing. They show a movie about the mine which was on the site of the museum, but its the same merchandise stuff.

The only interesting bit was, that they show the movie La bataille de l'eau lourde (The Battle of Heavy Water) by Jean Dréville. There is an American Hollywood movie with the same topic, which is sometimes shown on TV, but we never heard about this movie before. The topic is a sabotage mission in 1943 against the factory which distilled heavy water for Nazi Germany in occupied Norway. The point was, to make sure the Nazis were not able to build an atomic bomb. This movie is exceptional, as the roles are played by the actual protagonists of the mission. As far as we know it is in Norwegian, French, and English.

At the end of the tour there is a topic which seems quite interesting, but only at first glimpse. The topic is uranium exploitation abroad, in Niger, Kazakhstan, and the Canadian far north. Our impression is that they tell about the people but not about the economic, ecologic, and medical problems of uranium mining. And the fact that those three countries are the three places where the Orano Group has uranium mines. The site is owned by Orano, they owned this uranium mine, and also own this museum. The whole museum is simply a marketing tool for one of the big players in worldwide uranium mining. Actually they should pay you for visiting their commercials, and not charge an entrance fee.

This is our oppinion, but we are not alone. The museum dedicated to the glory of uranium mines has won the Prix Pinocchio in 2013 for shameless lying in greenwashing themselves.