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The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations was opened in 2013, while Marseille was the European Capital of Culture. It is located in a modern building standing on an artificial island in the extension of the local port. The permanent exhibition of the museum shows various aspects of Mediterranean civilization and the interpenetration of its threads from ancient times to the present day.
When Marseille won the race for the European Capital of Culture, its authorities decided to change the face of the city. It was primarily about breaking with the image of Marseille as a dangerous port city in which culture is pushed into the background. The main part of these operations was the revitalization of port areas. At the foot of Fort Saint John, MuCEM was built. His architect Rudy Ricciotti says that it is a building torn out of the sea and built from what the Mediterranean coast offers. Its openwork facade delights especially at night when it is highlighted.
The core of the Museum is a permanent exhibition divided into 4 thematic blocks, The Birth of Agricultural Cultures, Jerusalem, a city of three religions, Citizenship and Human Rights, and Beyond the Known World. The exhibition was broken from the chronological presentation of the exhibits. Ancient vases and statues are adjacent to modern machines and films about the current problems of the Mediterranean countries. The whole is a great tribute to the civilization that gave rise to the European identity.