المتحف الوطني بباردو

( Bardo National Museum (Tunis) )

The Bardo National Museum (Arabic: المتحف الوطني بباردو, romanized: el-Metḥef el-Waṭanī bi-Bārdū; French: Musée national du Bardo) is a museum of Tunis, Tunisia, located in the suburbs of Le Bardo.

It is one of the most important museums in the Mediterranean region and the second museum of the African continent after the Egyptian Museum of Cairo by richness of its collections. It traces the history of Tunisia over several millennia and across several civilizations through a wide variety of archaeological pieces.

Housed in an old beylical palace since 1888, it has been the setting for the exhibition of many major works discovered since the beginning of archaeological research in the country. Originally called Alaoui Museum (Arabic: المتحف العلوي, romanized: Read more

The Bardo National Museum (Arabic: المتحف الوطني بباردو, romanized: el-Metḥef el-Waṭanī bi-Bārdū; French: Musée national du Bardo) is a museum of Tunis, Tunisia, located in the suburbs of Le Bardo.

It is one of the most important museums in the Mediterranean region and the second museum of the African continent after the Egyptian Museum of Cairo by richness of its collections. It traces the history of Tunisia over several millennia and across several civilizations through a wide variety of archaeological pieces.

Housed in an old beylical palace since 1888, it has been the setting for the exhibition of many major works discovered since the beginning of archaeological research in the country. Originally called Alaoui Museum (Arabic: المتحف العلوي, romanized: al-Matḥaf al-ʿAlawī), named after the reigning bey at the time, it takes its current name of Bardo Museum after the independence of the country even if the denomination is attested before that date.

The museum houses one of the largest collections of Roman mosaics in the world, thanks to excavations at the beginning of 20th century in various archaeological sites in the country including Carthage, Hadrumetum, Dougga and Utica. Generally, the mosaics of Bardo, such as the Virgil Mosaic, represent a unique source for research on everyday life in Roman Africa. From the Roman era, the museum also contains a rich collection of marble statues representing the deities and the Roman emperors found on different sites including those of Carthage and Thuburbo Majus.

The museum also houses pieces discovered during the excavations of Libyco-Punic sites including Carthage, although the National Museum of Carthage is the primary museum of the Carthage archaeological site. The essential pieces of this department are grimacing masks, terracotta statues and stelae of major interest for Semitic epigraphy, and the stele of the priest and the child. The museum also houses Greek works discovered especially in the excavations of the shipwreck of Mahdia, whose emblematic piece remains the bust of Aphrodite in marble, gnawed by the sea.

The Islamic Department contains, in addition to famous works such as the Blue Qur'an of Kairouan, a collection of ceramics from the Maghreb and Anatolia.

In order to increase the reception capacity and optimize the presentation of the collections, the museum is the subject of a vast operation which was to be completed initially in 2011 but was not finished until 2012 due to the Tunisian Revolution. The work concerns the increase of the exhibition surfaces by adding new buildings and redeploying the collections. The project aims to make the museum a major pole for a quality cultural development, so that the visitor can appreciate the artistic pieces deposited.

On March 18, 2015, an Islamist terrorist group attacked the museum and took tourists hostage in the building. The attack, which killed 22 people including 21 foreign tourists, was claimed by ISIS.

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