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Berne museum adopts “hands on” approach to new exhibition

Children send secret messages by "mirror writing". Musée de la communication, Berne

"Do Not Touch" signs are conspicuous by their absence at the Museum of Communication in Berne. In fact not only is touching the exhibits permitted, it is actually encouraged.

The reason for this hands-on approach is an interactive exhibition aimed especially at children between the ages of six and 14. Entitled “Always and Everywhere”, it takes a light-hearted look at the ways people and animals communicate.

For example, one section is devoted to gestures as a form of communication, and examines facial expressions and sign language. Another looks at how animals communicate by using their senses of hearing, touch and smell.

The exhibition shows how messages were sent in the past, using smoke or flags to send visual signals, and bells and post horns to transmit acoustic messages. It also has a section on the latest innovations in electronic communications, in which children can send jokes via the Internet.

Perhaps the most popular corner for the young visitors explains how secret messages are encoded. They are also taught the art of “mirror writing” as a secret language.

The exhibition ends on January 28.

swissinfo with agencies

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