Bardo National Museum (Tunis)
Housed in an old beylical
palace since 1888, it has been the setting for the exhibition of many major works discovered since the beginning of archaeological research in the country. Originally called Alaoui Museum
: المتحف العلوي
: al-Matḥaf al-ʿAlawī
), named after the reigning bey
at the time, it takes its current name of Bardo Museum
after the independence
of the country even if the denomination is attested before that date.
The museum houses one of the largest collections of Roman mosaics in the world, thanks to excavations at the beginning of 20th century in various archaeological sites in the country including Carthage
. Generally, the mosaics of Bardo, such as the Virgil Mosaic
, represent a unique source for research on everyday life in Roman Africa
. From the Roman era, the museum also contains a rich collection of marble statues representing the deities and the Roman emperors found on different sites including those of Carthage and Thuburbo Majus
In order to increase the reception capacity and optimize the presentation of the collections, the museum is the subject of a vast operation which was to be completed initially in 2011 but was not finished until 2012 due to the Tunisian Revolution
. The work concerns the increase of the exhibition surfaces by adding new buildings and redeploying the collections. The project aims to make the museum a major pole for a quality cultural development, so that the visitor can appreciate the artistic pieces deposited.
On March 18, 2015, an Islamist terrorist group attacked the museum
and took tourists hostage in the building. The attack, which killed 22 people including 21 foreign tourists, was claimed by ISIS
Location and description
Bardo museum plan.
The Bardo National Museum building was originally a 15th-century Hafsid
palace, located in the suburbs of Tunis
The Bardo is one of the most important museums of the Mediterranean basin
, and the second largest on the African continent after the Egyptian Museum
. It traces the history of Tunisia
over several millennia and through many civilizations through a wide variety of archaeological pieces. Being in the former palace, it offers many major works discovered since the beginnings of archaeological research in the country. Originally called Museum Alaoui (المتحف العلوي), the name of the reigning bey at the time, it has had its current name of Museum of Bardo only since the country's independence.
The Bardo brings together one of the finest and largest collections of Roman mosaics
in the world thanks to the excavations undertaken from the beginning of the 20th century on archaeological sites in the country including Carthage
, or Utica
. The mosaics represent a unique source for research on everyday life in Roman Africa
. The Museum also contains a rich collection of marble statues representing the gods and Roman emperors
found on various sites including those of Carthage and Thuburbo Majus
The Bardo has also rich pieces discovered during the excavations of Libyco-Punic
sites including mainly Carthage
, although the Carthage National Museum
also possesses an important collection. The main parts of this Department are grimacing masks, terracotta statues and stelae of major interest for the Semitic epigraphy, the stele of the priest and the child being the most famous. The Museum also houses Greek
works discovered in particular in the excavations of the ship of Mahdia, whose iconic piece[according to whom?]
is a marble bust of Aphrodite.[attribution needed]
The museum underwent a major refurbishment, completed in 2011, that was interrupted due to the Tunisian revolution
Small Patio of the Palace.
displays objects ranging from pre-historical artifacts to modern jewelry
2015 terrorist attack
On 18 March 2015, 24 people were killed in a terrorist attack 
when three terrorists in civil uniform attacked the Bardo National Museum in the Tunisian capital city of Tunis, and took hostages.
Twenty-one people, mostly European tourists, were killed at the scene, while an additional victim died ten days later. Around fifty others were injured. This attack took place after the famous Charlie Hebdo attack
in Paris where many journalists were killed 
Two of the gunmen, Tunisian citizens Yassine Labidi and Saber Khachnaoui, were killed by police, while the third attacker is currently at large.
Police treated the event as a terrorist attack
It was the deadliest terrorist attack in Tunisian history; surpassing the 2002 Ghriba synagogue bombing
, which killed twenty-one people, most of whom were also European tourists, and injured more than thirty others.
- Famous Mosaic
Neptune Roman Mosaic
SeignorJulius mosaic, 5th CE, Carthage
Matron at her toilet, 4th c. CE Carthage
- Pieces in The Ground Floor
The Early Christian Room with Baptistery in The Centre.
Hallway of Sarcophagi Full with Visitors.
Access Door on the First Floor.
- ^ Zaiane, Selma (2008). "Le musée national du Bardo en métamorphose. Pour une nouvelle image du tourisme culturel tunisien et de nouveaux visiteurs". Téoros. 69: 2.
- ^ a b "The Latest: French President Mourns Tunisia Victims". nytimes.com. 18 March 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
- ^ a b "Museum attack a 'great calamity' for Tunisia's young democracy". latimes.com. 18 March 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
- ^ "Thousands of Tunisians, leaders march after Bardo attack". Reuters. 29 March 2015. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
- ^ a b Death toll rises to 23, msn.com; accessed 19 March 2015.
- ^ "Third Tunisia museum attacker 'on the run', says president". Yahoo! News. March 22, 2015. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
- ^ "21 dead in Tunisia attack, Including Gunmen". aljazeera.com. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
- ^ Marszal, Andrew (18 March 2015). "Gunmen 'take hostages' in attack on Tunisia parliament". The Telegraph. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
- ^ "Tunisia Museum Attack Is Blow to Nation's Democratic Shift". New York Times. 18 March 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
- ^ a b c "Le Musée du Bardo lance le premier guide numérique NFC du continent africain". Orange Tunisie. July 15, 2014.
Last edited on 29 January 2021, at 02:34
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