Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations

Marseille | France

About the Museum

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In Marseille, the Mucem stands out as a great museum dedicated to the Mediterranean.What makes the Mucem so unique is that it recounts, analyses and sheds light on the ancient foundations of this cradle of civilization and the tensions running through it since that time, all in the same place and with the same passion. Also that it is a platform for discussions about Mediterranean issues.

Both its exhibitions and its cultural programmes offer a multidisciplinary vision that combines anthropology, history, archaeology, art history and contemporary art to show the public the multiple facets of the Mediterranean world and its ongoing dialogue with Europe.

As the first museum devoted to Mediterranean cultures, the Mucem is a completely novel structure. The product of the metamorphosis of a major societal museum – the Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions, created in Paris in 1937 –, it represents the first real conversion of a museum from national to regional. The Mucem Museum of the Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean opened in Marseille in June 2013. By the following year, it had joined the ranks of the 50 most visited museums in the world.

The Mucem encompasses three sites. Along the sea, at the entrance to the Old Port, the J4 building (Rudy Ricciotti’s and Roland Carta’s symbolic architectural creation) and the Fort Saint-Jean, a fully restored historical monument, are the perfect embodiment, with their two footbridges, of the idea of building a connection between both shores of the Mediterranean. They host major exhibitions and artistic and cultural programming events. In town, in the Belle de Mai district, the CCR Centre for Conservation and Resources houses the museum’s collections. This unique grouping allows the MuCEM to offer a multitude of cultural activities.

(photo : Gabrielle Voinot)

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