Bardo Museum show on shared holy sites

”Lieux Saints Partagés” (shared holy sites) is an exhibit at the Bardo Museum held from November 19 until Febriary 12, 2017.

The show is organized in cooperation with the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations (MUCEM) in Marseille on the theme of tolerance and inter-faith dialogue.

The exhibit in 2015 in Marseille attracted a record 120,000 visitors and vies to encourage a moment of reflection on cohabitation in the Mediterranean with a particular regard on the religious behaviour of populations on its shores and one of the most interesting and least-known issues – exchanges between different religious communities.

Artworks from religious institutions and international private collections include a terracotta nativity on the ‘Holy Family and the shipwreck’ donated by Pope Francis to the ecclesiastical community of Lampedusa and the Red and Blue Wood Cross made by a carpenter from the island, Franco Tuccio, using pieces of vessels transporting Christian migrants from Africa that sunk in the Mediterranean in 2013.

The show, which was organized thanks to a partnership between Tunisia’s national heritage institute and the MUCEM in Marseille, under the patronage of the Tunisian presidency, focuses on the leading figures and holy sites shared by populations in the Mediterranean with over 150 works of art, objects of daily life, films and photos.

Visitors can also admire the apartment in the Petit Palais and Sousse room inside the museum.

The presence of two works from Lampedusa is proof of the excellent relations between Italy and Tunisia. They continue the cooperation showcase in Lampedusa artworks from the Bardo collection for the inauguration last June of the ”Museum of Confidence and dialogue for the Mediterranean” – sign of a dialogue between the two countries that the Italian Cultural Institute and the Italian embassy in Tunis mean to encourage by all means.

President Beji Caid Essebsi inaugurated on Friday at the Bardo Museum the shared holy sites exhibition. The exhibition was inaugurated during a ceremony  in the presence of Culture Minister Mohamed Zine el Abidine, Education Minister Neji Jalloul, France’s Ambassador to Tunisia Olivier Poivre d’Arvor, several national personalities, foreign guests and students.

Choosing Bardo museum to host this exhibition is of symbolic importance as it is not only a site full of history about the Tunisian identity open on cultural diversity but also a site that was also affected by the terrorist crimes following March 18, 2015 terrorist attack where several innocent victims were killed.

In this connection, the “Tunis declaration against terrorism and for tolerance and solidarity between peoples, cultures and religion” was announced in the presence of several ministers, diplomatic officials to Tunisia,  and cultural personalities.


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