Bad Rappenau (dpa) - From a high-necked bathing costume made of wool to a super short two-piece - the BikiniArtMuseum in Bad Rappenau near Heilbronn is dedicated to the history of swimwear.

The museum opens on this Sunday, the international day of bikini. Colorful and entertaining, visitors will in future be able to experience on 1,500 square meters of exhibition space how swimwear has developed since the late 19th century.

Back then, women and men wore full-body clothing when bathing. Weights were even sewn into swimwear for women to prevent the fabric from floating in the water, museum director Reinhold Weinmann said on a tour on Friday. Shortened sleeves and trouser legs on swimwear repeatedly caused outrage, bans and arrests from 1900 onwards. In Prussia in 1932 there was the "Gussel Decree", which prescribed exactly how swimwear should be cut.

In the same year, the German actress Maria Solveig had already appeared in a sound film in a two-piece bath. The oldest photograph, which shows a woman in today's bikini stronghold Brazil in a two-piece set on the beach, was made by the museum maker around Alexander Ruscheinsky in Regensburg in 1938.

The garment was frowned upon until the 1960s. French cinema icon Brigitte Bardot, Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe and the legendary appearance of Ursula Andress in «James Bond - 007 hunt Dr. No »helped him break through. Swimming athletes have also been fighting for tight-fitting and tight-fitting swimsuits for decades.

The bikini is part of the history of emancipation and stands for the self-liberation of women, said cultural scientist Alexandra Regiert. A burkini, a full body swimsuit, is also part of the exhibition. The museum wants to encourage people to discuss and think about sexism and emancipation without evaluating it.

The two-piece bathing suit was given the name bikini shortly after the Second World War: in Paris, engineer and designer Louis Réard had a mannequin appear in a two-piece swimsuit on 5 July 1946, which he called bikini. Based on the exotic bikini atoll in the Pacific Ocean, before which the first nuclear tests were carried out - which in turn stood for progress, the museum makers say. Twelve bikinis from the Réards collections are on display in the museum.

The Museum of Regensburg entrepreneurs Alexander Ruscheinsky initiated and financed it. Together with his team, he researched the topic of bikini for more than five years. In addition to swimwear, there are multimedia shows, works of art and historical posters to see. This is how comedian Otto Waalkes painted an ottifant in a bikini.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 200703-99-663789 / 3

Bikini style museum