Location: Marsiglia, France.

Architect: Rudy Ricciotti Architecte.

The MuCEM is a national museum located at the entrance to the Old Port of Marseille, dedicated to the cultures of the Mediterranean. It will be inaugurated in 2013, coinciding with Marseille being the European Capital of Culture. The museum will focus on the cultures of the Mediterranean from a comparative and multidisciplinary perspective, covering a vast historic field from prehistory to contemporary issues. The MuCEM is the metamorphosis of a major museum devoted to society, whose origins date back to 1884. The museum’s program of exhibitions, discussions, and performances reflect the expansion of the geographic, historic, and disciplinary fields. The public will discover a presentation of the major events in the history of the civilisations of the Mediterranean basin, with collections enlisted from the MuCEM and the greatest French and foreign museums. The presentation aims to progressively illuminate the multifaceted history of the Mediterranean with its landscapes, cities, and shores, enabling a better understanding of the challenges of the contemporary world. The MuCEM is more than a museum, it is a cultural city, drawing on all the disciplines of the humanities and social sciences, mobilizing the artistic expressions of both shores of the Mediterranean. It is a new way of regarding the Mediterranean as a space for openness and sharing, for envisioning a common history and the dialogue of civilisations, for clarifying the issues, giving depth of field to contemporary phenomena, and shaping a new public space.

Photo credit: Lisa Ricciotti.