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France pays tribute to Polish scientist

PR dla Zagranicy
Grzegorz Siwicki 09.11.2017 08:30
An exhibition dedicated to Polish Nobel Prize-winning scientist Maria Skłodowska-Curie has opened at the Panthéon in Paris, where her remains are interred alongside those of distinguished French citizens.
Maria Skłodowska-Curie. Photo: Wikimedia Commons [Public domain]Maria Skłodowska-Curie. Photo: Wikimedia Commons [Public domain]

The exhibition, which coincides with commemorations of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Marie Curie, as she is known in France, was organised by the Curie Museum, which is located in the scientist’s former laboratory, close to the Panthéon.

Renaud Huynh, the director of the Curie Museum, said during the opening ceremony that the exhibition aimed to commemorate Marie Curie as "a legend of world science".

On display is a rich collection of archives, documents, personal memorabilia and laboratory equipment used by Marie Curie. Visitors can also go to the crypt in which she, and her husband Pierre Curie, are buried.

The Polish scientist is the first woman, and the only person who was not born in France, to have been interred in the Panthéon. Her remains were transferred there in 1995 from a cemetery in Sceaux near Paris, where she was buried in 1934. She died of leukaemia, which was most probably caused by her high exposure to radiation.

The ceremony at the Panthéon was also attended by Marie Curie’s two grandchildren, Professors Hélène Langevin-Joliot and Pierre Joliot, both of whom will also attend an anniversary event in Warsaw on Thursday.

A special gala event will be held at the Warsaw University of Technology on Thursday to round off commemorations of the 150th anniversary of Marie Curie’s birth.

The exhibition at the Paris Panthéon is open until March 4, 2018.

Born in Warsaw in 1867, Skłodowska-Curie spent most of her life in France.

Her achievements included the development of the theory of radioactivity, techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two elements, polonium and radium, which paved the way for cancer therapy.

She was awarded a Nobel Prize in physics in 1903 and followed up with another in chemistry in 1911. (mk/gs/vb)

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