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An Auspicious Beginning

From Sunday to Monday, Oct. 21, the exhibition hall inside Pharo Palace transformed overnight from a bare hall cluttered with boxes, tubes and jumbled chairs into a (relatively) orderly, welcoming and colorful space.

The dominant tone is yours to guess!

Shortly after 1pm, participants started streaming in, filling the hall with small clusters of friends swapping news as after a long separation – a scene reminiscent of a high-school reunion.

The stage was set for the arrival of IMPAC3's figureheads and special guests, led by H.S.H. Prince Albert of Monaco, French Minister of the Sea Frédéric Cuvillier and Mayor of Marseille Jean-Claude Gaudin.

There followed a very diverse ceremony, mixing politicians with biologists, Colombia with Madagascar, and serious discourse with soulful music.

Around 6:30pm, participants were again free to hunt out old acquaintances and chance upon new ones, around a cocktail dinner. Mediterranean music streamed out onto the Pharo's vast terrace, where diners were silhouetted against the lights of the Old Port. The air was almost spring-like.

It felt like the beginning of something.

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