Frédéric Dumas International Diving Museum
Sanary sur Mer ~ Historical city of diving



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October 1994  

Barthélemy Rotger and Gérard Loridon begin creating the Frédéric Dumas diving museum. Barthélemy Rotger is elected president of the museum association.
Thanks to the support of the municipality, the museum receives shelter in the famous Romanesque tower of Sanary.
The Dumas and Sérénon families generously donate the first museum pieces.


Pierre-Yves LE BIGOT becomes  museum president and offers his personal collection : CG 45, Mistral, Royal Mistral, Cristal...
Gérard Loridon acquires several old cameras for the museum.
The museum is divided into three levels :
    - Basement: Spear fishing
    - First Floor: Breathing apparatus
    - Second Floor: Photography and archeology
The passionate members of the museum association are nicknamed the ‘crazy ones of the sea'.
In the presence of Commander Philippe Tailliez, eighty naval officers from Toulon visit the museum on September 29, 1995 - a memorable day!


The first “Art Bleu’ (‘Blue Art’ ) event, the underwater applied arts show at the “Maison Flotte”.
The museum acquires the famous diving suit of the Knight of Beauve thanks to the city of Sanary.

October 1997  

Coinciding with the visit of leading Romanian academians, commanding officer Tailliez  returns to Bandol  where the “‘Mousquemers” (‘Mousqueteers of the sea’) first dove using the famous aqualung CG45 invented by Cousteau and Gagnan.
Gérard Loridon presents the idea of setting up a stele whose plate would be created by Pierre Blanchard.


Yves Maucherat becomes president of the museum association.
A second plate is installed on Gaou Island, The Brusc, in front of the site location of the first “‘Mousquemers’’ ’s film: "Par dix-huit mètres de fond" (‘Through Eighty Meters of Water’ also known as ‘Ten Fathoms Down’).

From 2000 to 2005  

Led by Yves Maucherat and Jean-Marie Pierre, the association contributes to promote the museum outside the department of Var at the World Festival of Underwater Pictures in Antibes, and the Ocean and Exploration Film Festival in Toulon.
Expansion of the Blue Art events on specific themes: archeology, red coral…
Yves Maucherat dies while diving at the Embiez Island on August 13, 2005. It is a terrible time for the museum’s small team.  As a consequence, Jean-Marie Pierre and Gérard Loridon call for an extraordinary board meeting to dissolve the association. The decision is rejected at the last minute upon the insistence of the mayor of Sanary, Dr Ferdinand Bernhard, who does not want to abandon this patrimony.


Jean-Luc Fiorina is officially appointed the new president of the association. He obtains premises at the ‘Espace Saint Nazaire’ where the collection sets are stored and indexed. He succeeds in getting approval to extend the museum. The Mayor of Sanary allots him the ‘Lauzet Ainé Room’ used for exhibits. This room will be arranged to receive all the diving equipment.
On Wednesday October 25, 2006, in the presence of Jean- Michel Cousteau, the museum  president of honor,  the museum, and the Frédéric Dumas esplanade, and  the  ‘Mousquemers’ roundabout in Portissol are inaugurated.
The municipality of Sanary has put emphasize on making Sanary known to the world as the Historical City of Diving.
2006 has been the year of a new beginning for the museum association.

All contributions are welcome to help us write the new  museum history.



Translation: Evelyne Skorczynski & Rod Carr


The museum newsletter in french (pdf format) Number 1 Number 2 Number 3

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