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Marseille’s Mediterranean Museum honoured in Strasbourg ceremony

Marseille’s Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (MuCEM) was yesterday awarded the Council of Europe’s prestigious Museum Prize at a ceremony in Strasbourg.

Presenting the prize – a statuette by Joan Miro – to MuCEM’s Scientific Director Zeev Gourarier, PACE President Anne Brasseur commended the museum’s “democratizing role” through its impressive programme of widely-accessible activities, which dealt with contemporary and often very controversial issues. “MUCEM is a kaleidoscope which breaks down reality into many different viewpoints, making every second a very rich and unique experience,” she said.

On receiving the prize, Mr Gourarier explained how the museum explored Mediterranean civilisations and the notion of citizenship and human rights through the acceptance of others.

The Rudy Rioccitti-designed museum, which describes itself as “floating between sky and sea”, is situated between the old port and the old city. With its vast expanse of seafront, it was conceived as a key part of the project to rehabilitate the industrial port area, providing a missing “bridge” between seafront and city.