Kerguelen in Iceland 1767 and 1768 (finished)
An exhibition on the french explorer Yves-Joseph de Kerguelen – Tremarec was openend in The National and University Library of Iceland on the 5th of June. The exhibition deals with the first scientific expedition of France to Iceland, which is considered to be the beginning of a friendship between the two countries, and tells about the journeys of Yves-Joseph de Kerguelen to Iceland in 1767 and 1768.
In 1767 the thirty year old Yves-Joseph de Kerguelen was requested by King Louis the 15th to sail to Iceland to assist fishermen from northern France. He made his first trip on the frigate „La Folle“ but later on he returned to Iceland on the corvette „L‘ Hirondelle“.
His book Relation d‘un voyage dans la Mer du Nord was published in 1771. In that book Kerguelen gave an account of his research and discoveries during the two journeys to Iceland, but also of various other matters such as his communication in Latin with the representative of the danish retail in Patreksfjörður and also with the icelandic researcher and poet Eggert Ólafsson. Kerguelen´s reports were important both militarily and scientifically. They entailed accurate information onhis sea voyages and presented thorough descriptions of nature, fauna, flora, climate and geography, along with accounts of miscellaneous habits and customs of Icelanders at this time. Kerguelen thus gave many of his countrymen and foreign readers a chance to get acquainted with the magic and peculiarities of Iceland.
The exhibition is a collaboration of The National and University Library of Iceland and The Embassy of France in Reykjavík. It will stay open in the National Library until the 30th of June. After that it will be in Patreksfjörður July 4th -22nd and finally in Fáskrúðsfjörður July 26th-18th August.