May 2017

‘Lorentzen’s tunnel’

The Prison Museum in Horsens, Museum of Horsens and Kvorning Design & Communication open the new permanent exhibition ’Lorentzen’s tunnel’ telling the tale of Carl August Lorentzen’s escape from a Danish state penitentiary just before Christmas 1949. The getaway was sign of exceptional willpower and an incredible tour de force which shouldn’t have been possible.

’Lorentzen’s tunnel’ tells the story of how Carl August Lorentzen escaped from the state penitentiary in Horsens just before Christmas in 1949. Sentenced to a strict long-term punishment and being in love trouble, he found the willpower to overcome the impossible barriers. On his own, almost every night for eleven months, Lorentzen dug an 18-metre-long tunnel towards light and freedom. He let a note saying: Where there’s a will, there’s a way!’ However, the taste of freedom only lasted for eight days.

A reconstruction of the tunnel
Trough interactive, analogue and digital means, the exhibition ’Lorentzen’s tunnel’ depicts elements of Carl August Lorentzen’s upbringing, placements, love life and prison sentences – and in particular, his breakout from the prison in 1949. Visitors can experience the prison department and the cell where Lorentzen served his sentence 68 years ago. Here, one can also get a closer look at the tunnel, which has been reconstructed from photos, drawings, archaeological excavations and interrogation protocols. A projection on the wall of the tunnel shows Lorentzen digging, giving an impression of the massive effort and will power it took to break the ground using only chisels and counterfeit keys.

Re-enactment of Lorentzen’s getaway
The new exhibition takes the storyline and the dramaturgic and scenographic effects successfully set up by the other sections of the exhibition a huge step further. The escape tunnel will make visitors feel that they are very close to Lorentzen during his attempted flight.

The exhibitions of the Prison museum have received tremendous international attention the last years and have won several awards; e.g. Museums+Heritage Award 2016 for best international exhibition and InAVation Award 2016 for best European AV-based storytelling. The exhibition has received funds from the Nordea-foundation.