The museum’s reserves, as well as the spaces devoted to research, are located in the third site, the Conservation and Resource Center(CCR), designed by Corinne Vezzoni, associated with André Jollivet, in the Belle de May. This building was delivered in 2013 and was built as part of a public-private partnership (PPP) between the Ministry of Culture and the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (ICADE).
Museum professionals, curators, researchers, students and visitors can access the entire collection, which can be viewed on site. The JRC has a dual function, firstly the conservation of national public ethnology collections in accordance with the guidelines for safeguarding public collections defined by the Heritage Code, and the promotion of these by dissemination, layout and presentation to the public.
Starting more than 130 years ago, the Mucem’s collection is a legacy from the Musée national des Arts et Traditions populaires (National Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions) in Paris. First focused on the ethnology of France from the 19th century to nowadays, it broadened its scope to Europe and the Mediterranean and their several-century-old civilizations when it moved to Marseilles in 2013. The museum investigates contemporary social issues and collects objects and representations that reflect them. It preserves more than 250,000 objects, 130,000 engravings, drawings, posters and paintings, 350,000 photographs, 140,000 postcards, 150,000 books and periodicals and hundreds of meters of archives on paper, tape or digital media. Here are some highlights of this one-of-a-kind collection.
The Mucem Conservation and Resources Center (CCR) has a room reserved for atypical, experimental and innovative exhibitions, designed by curators who have “carte blanche” to take a fresh look at the museum’s collections.
At the Center de conservation et de ressources (CCR), an 800 m2 “sample apartment” offers a sampling of the collections kept in different types of furniture, by offering objects in different materials, from different eras, geographic origins, types, dimensions.
Behind the scenes of Mucem, the Center for Conservation and Resources (CCR) built by the architecture agency Corinne Vezzoni and associates. A case rather than a safe, unlike classic museum reserves, the CCR is available in four spaces open to the public: a room for viewing objects, a reading room, an exhibition hall, reserves.
At the CCR, a room is dedicated to consulting the collections of objects kept by the Mucem. Upon prior request, the objects are made available by a manager, present to answer questions, help with the handling of the objects or refer to the related documentation. Depending on the nature of the requests, an appointment can also be organized with a member of the museum’s conservation staff.
The reading room of the Conservation and Resource Center (CCR) provides access to the Mucem archives, library and documentation.
The archives, made up of manuscript, printed, iconographic, sound and audiovisual collections, are precious sources for the study of ethnology, rural and urban societies, oral literature and the performing arts.
The library specializing in ethnology and human sciences, has more than 150,000 books and magazines on France, Europe and the Mediterranean. The collection of popular impressions from the 17th and 18th centuries constitutes its flagship.
Work files and thematic, geographic and professional documentary resources related to the scientific fields of Mucem are also available for consultation.
The conservation funds
The JRC building covers 13,000 m2 spread over three levels, including 7,000 m2 of conservation space as well as a 1,400 m2 consultation and research space. Restoration activities are carried out at the CCR and it has climate-friendly reserve spaces suitable for all types of objects and works from the collections.
The Mucem also features a Conservation and Resource Center (CCR). Located in the Belle de Mai district, not far from Saint-Charles train station, this center was designed by architect Corinne Vezzoni in collaboration with André Jollivet (AURA agency).
This 13,000 m² building, which includes 7,000 m² of storage space, is home to: almost 200,000 objects; 135,000 paintings, prints, and drawings; 355,000 photographs; 140,000 postcards; and almost 150,000 books and periodicals, not to mention the vast paper, sound, and audiovisual archives.
At the JRC two spaces are dedicated to this mission:
a 100 m2 exhibition hall for file exhibitions
A visitable reserve, designated by the term “witness apartment” with an area of 800 m², and which gives the public an idea of the nature of collections and conservation techniques.
Since the year 2000, these collections, which were inherited from the National Museum of Popular Arts and the Museum of Mankind, Paris, (with a store containing more than 30,000 objects) have been enriched with objects originating in the Mediterranean area, from Neolithic artifacts to modern art. They are stored according to preventative conservation standards in this building, which has been designed specifically to ensure their safety and conservation.
Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations
The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (Mucem) is a national museum located in Marseille. It was inaugurated by President François Hollande, the June 7, 2013, when Marseille was the European Capital of Culture. It is one of the rare lasting testimonies of the cultural programming of the year 2013 designed by B. Latarjet, with the construction of the FRAC PACA in the new district of La Joliette.
Museum of society, the Mucem is a national museum placed under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and devoted to the civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean. Its creation in Marseille underlines the concern of the State to provide the second city of France with major cultural facilities.
The permanent exhibitions are generally designed by crossing different scientific fields: anthropology, archeology, history, art history and contemporary art. The museum also offers temporary monographic exhibitions dedicated to artists or major figures in the world of plastic and literary creation. The museum’s vocation is to give an account of the historical and social permanence of this basin of civilization, as well as of the tensions which run through it until contemporary times.
The National Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions (MNAT) which was located in Paris was closed in 2005 and its collections transferred to the Museum of Civilizations in Europe and the Mediterranean (MuCEM) located in Marseille. This museum spans two sites: Fort Saint-Jean and Mole J4, where a building designed by the architect Rudy Ricciotti is constructed. A 130 m long footbridge, overlooking a dock separating the two sites, connects the fort to the museum. Another footbridge allows direct access to the fort from the esplanade of the Saint-Laurent church.