International relations

The Mucem

a Place of knowledge and exchange, open to the world

The Mucem’s international action happens at the intersection between the Mediterranean and European worlds. Inviting multiple perspectives and historical trajectories, and being a museum not of civilization but of civilizations, with all the strength of their singularities and their points in common. Out of a strategy based on exchanges, a far cry from a push for international influence, the Mucem shifts perspectives and overturns angles and approaches.

This is why the Mucem works to build strong partnerships founded on reciprocity with museums and institutions in the Mediterranean and Europe. Here a joint exhibition with Istanbul Modern, there an agreement with the National Foundation of Museums of the Kingdom of Morocco, a strong partnership with the Benaki Museum in Athens, or a tie to Alexandria, Brussels or Berlin, such as participation in certain European Union programmes.

The Mucem also has an International Council, made up of Mediterranean and European decision-makers and cultural figures. That International Council is a forum for exchanges, a think tank and a project lab on an international scale. This institutional, heritage dimension is vital to a national museum and is extended by an original approach focused on artists, collectives and emerging locations, born in the streets of Athens, Madrid or Rome, or from the “Arab Revolutions” that launched new actors and new spaces for dialogue. It is around this constellation of places that a project-oriented Mediterranean might take shape. Far from a merely institutional or national approach, the Mucem is there to listen to all these new actors, which is actually one of the priorities of its international actions.

The Mucem also aims to be a venue for exchanging knowledge and expertise. Through the Mediterranean Institute for Heritage Professions (I2MP), it has created a meeting place where Mediterranean professionals can come to discuss their shared problems: restoring and showcasing mosaics, developing archaeological sites, collecting a living heritage, etc. All these themes are covered by a training programme that is gradually enriched by the needs and expectations of our international partners.

International Council

The Mucem decided to endow itself with an innovative tool for handling the establishment’s international relations: the International Council.

The Council is a consultative body that was created after consultations with the Board of Directors. It is chaired by Yves Aubin de la Messuzière, former Chairman of the association prefiguring the Mucem and member of the Board of Directors. It comprises a dozen members chosen for their commitment to Europe and the Mediterranean, as well as their roles as network leaders.

It meets two or three times a year and offers an opportunity for reflection and new ideas, and helps to drive the establishment’s main orientations, namely its international relations. It is a place where worlds and points of view collide. It also builds ties with companies, institutions, diplomats and decision-makers in Europe and the Mediterranean.

Since its creation and its first meeting in March 2014, the Council has participated in Mucem’s membership in European and international networks.

It enabled the signature of a strategic partnership with the France Médias Monde Group (France24, RFI and MC Doualiya), which has namely resulted in the co-production of a television show in French, English and Arabic called Mediterranean Debates.

It grasps new horizons by encouraging and enabling missions to the Persian Gulf (Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain), Israel and Palestine.

It is a place for reflection and exchanges on international issues that the MuCEM should address: thematic positioning, geographic approach, conflict questions, and so on.

List of members

Yves Aubin de La Messuzière, Chairman
former ambassador, Chairman of the Mission Laïque Française, and member of the Mucem’s Board of Directors
Elie Barnavi
academic and diplomat, former Israeli Ambassador to France, Director of the Scientific Committee of the Museum of Europe in Brussels, and professor at Tel Aviv University
Mounir Bouchenaki
archaeologist, Director of the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage (UNESCO) from Doha
Jean Emmanuel Casalta
Jean Ticory
Hermann Parzinger
President of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation in Berlin
Marc Pierini
former Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and Libya, and Turkey
Mohamed Tozy
political scientist and academic
Giuliana Setari
President of Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto, Dena Foundation for Contemporary Art
Leila Shahid
diplomat and Palestinian Ambassador to the European Union
Bruno Suzzareli
former President of the Mucem
Anne Tallineau

The Mucem

winner of the 2015 Council of Europe Museum Prize

The Council of Europe Museum Prize for 2015 has been awarded to the Mucem. The museum was selected for the prize from a shortlist of three candidates by the Culture Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) at a meeting on Friday in Paris.

The museum displayed “a new and innovative concept, in a breathtaking site with outstanding architecture, which perfectly fulfils all the criteria of the Council of Europe Museum Prize,” said PACE’s rapporteur on the prize Vesna Marjanovic (Serbia, SOC). Ms Marjanovic particularly praised the museum’s role as a “contemporary Agora”, attracting a wide public with an impressive programme of educational visits, debates with artists and writers, seminars, festivals and concerts.
The Council of Europe Museum Prize has been awarded annually since 1977 to a museum judged to have made a significant contribution to the understanding of European cultural heritage. The winning museum will be presented with a bronze statuette, La femme aux beaux seins by Joan Miró, which the museum will keep for a year, as well as a diploma.



National Museum of the History of Immigration, Paris
Until January 21st, 2018
« Shared Holy places. Coexistence in Europe and the Mediterranean »

The National Museum of the History of Immigration (Paris) offers an adaptation of the exhibition "Shared Holy Places", presented at Mucem in 2015. This project takes a different form, based on situations and unpublished works, in extending its focus to Europe.



Asia Culture Center, Gwangju, South Korea
October 26th 2017—February 25th 2018
« The Other Face of the Moon »

Twenty-five Asian artists, most of them Korean, had a residency at Mucem between May and June 2017 to discover and absorb the museum's European ethnographic collections. Some have freely inspired their discoveries, others have read into it more literally. They present their views and inspirations crossed between Asia and the Mediterranean as part of the exhibition "The Other Face of the Moon", presented in Gwangju (South Korea). It mixes contemporary works of art and objects from the Mucem collections.

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Museum of Confluences, Dar El Bacha Palace, Marrakech, Morocco.
Until March 19th 2018
« Shared Holy Places »

After the Mucem in 2015, and the Bardo Museum in Tunis in 2016, the "Shared Holy Places" exhibition continues its journey in the Mediterranean: it is presented at Dar El Bacha Palace reopened for the occasion. Offering a different perspective on the religious behaviors of the Mediterranean populations, it highlights one of the most interesting - and unknown - phenomena of the region, namely the sharing and exchange between the three monotheistic religions.




Museum of Brittany, Rennes
Until April 1st 2018
« I believe it, I don’t believe it »

This exhibition focuses on the magical and sorcery practices of yesterday and today in Brittany. Reflecting on the exhibition "Good fortune and bad luck", presented in 2016 at the Abbey of Daoulas (Finistère), it contains more than 90 pieces lent by the Mucem.