MuCEM – et nytt nasjonalmuseum i Frankrike anno 2013

  • Bjarne Rogan


In 2007 the French national museum of popular culture (MNATP) closed its doors in Paris, to reopen in Marseilles in 2013 – as MuCEM. MuCEM’s new profile is art and cultural history, and its territorial scope is the Mediterranean area. The article traces briefly the history of MNATP, through its heyday in the 1960s–70s to its downward path in the 1980s–90s. The main focus, however, is on the last ten years, which were marked by political events and external pressure more than by scholarly (ethnological) considerations. Geopolitical issues such as President Sarkozy’s Union pour la Méditerranée and UNESCO’s appointment of Marseilles as Europe’s cultural capital for 2013 were decisive events. Finally, the text discusses what this new museum has in common with other recently established French museums, especially the Branly museum, and to what extent this rather chancy process deviated from that of other museums.