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Top-Tips - Francis Duranthon

This month we hear top tips from Francis Duranthon, Director of the Toulouse Natural History Museum and Director of the Toulouse City Museums.

Listening -

Delta blues by Mississippi John Hurt or Menphis Minnie, for example.

Reading -

The Shadow of the wind by Carlos Zafon. A captivating book set in post-Civil War Barcelona, in which the author, guided by his father, discovers a place charged with magic and mystery, dedicated to the preservation of forgotten or abandoned books. He will adopt a book that will become central to his life, leading him into a labyrinth of adventure, mystery and secrets buried in the city's soul. This sentence is for me excellent : Every book has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it, and the soul of those who read it, lived and dreamed with it.

Following -

Institut du monde arabe : A venue with superb architecture and an amazing program, designed to establish strong, lasting links between cultures and cultivate a genuine dialogue with the Arab world.

Things keeping me up at night -

I generally sleep very well, but what worries me most is the inexorable rise in Europe of nationalism leading to xenophobia, exclusionary policies and security excesses.

Somewhere I've been to recently -

The Okavango Delta in Botswana, with its incredible wildlife, which I discovered after a scientific mission in search of ancient hominids in the caves of the Kalahari Desert. It's a place where the river disappears into the desert, with an extraordinary wealth of biodiversity, showing us just how beautiful... and fragile our planet really is.

Somewhere I'm planning to go -

Australia, to discover the richness of its aboriginal culture and to observe marsupials in their natural habitat. But my wildest dream would be to be the first paleontologist on the planet Mars!