Pamplona bull running museum to feature virtual adrenaline

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Spain's Pamplona is to open a museum dedicated to the city's San Fermin festival where visitors can experience virtually being chased down cobbled streets by a pack of thundering bulls.

The Pamplona bull runs, Spain's most famous, are held daily every year from July 6 to 14 as the highlight of the San Fermin festival in the northeastern Spanish city, which also involves nine days of music, dancing and drinking.

The so-called "encierros" involve runners trying to outrace six bulls which charge through the old town's narrow, cobbled stone streets to a bullring where a bullfight is staged.

"We wanted to make a centre where people coming to Pamplona can understand what happens in the streets, with the encierros, the bullfighting, the festival," Pamplona's mayor Yolanda Barcina told AFP.

The idea for a museum has been around since 2001, but now building work is finally to begin at the end of the year with the centre near the city's bullfighting arenas to open "in 2012 or 2013", said Barcina.

One storey of the building will be dedicated to the running of the bulls, including a virtual recreation with giant video screens of racing bulls and a vibrating floor to emulate a crowd of bovines bearing down on the visitor.

"The sensation we want to give is one of being in the middle of the running of the bulls," said Venezuelan architect Matias Pinto D'Lacoste, who designed the museum's interior.

The 2,500-square-metre (27,000-square-foot) museum is being built at a cost of 23 million euros (29 million dollars) and will also house a research and archive centre on the history of festivals.

© 2010 AFP

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