On the morning of March 18, 2015, the Punic gods and the Roman emperors must have trembled on their stands of eternal glory at the Bardo National Museum in Tunis. And ancient Africa, mirrored in ever-glorious mosaics, was stained with the blood of Islamic terrorism.
The assault that day surprised hundreds of tourists in the famous North African museum has left a sinister echo in the Palace of the Bey. Even on the first anniversary of the massacre, you could still see, on walls and windows, the bursts of the Kalashnikovs shot by the two young Islamic State militants, who, in the name of a war of civilizations, ended the lives of 22 people. Among the victims were 21 foreigners who had arrived to Dido’s shores with the certainty of meeting a welcoming and generous land.
More than a year and a half after this tragic event that, in addition to the fundamentalist attack in Sousse in June 2015, threw Tunisia in a dire economic crisis, the Bardo is trying to mend the two shores of the Mediterranean Sea with an exhibition entitled “Les lieux saints partagés.” Running through Feb. 12, the exhibition aims to break down prejudices and to encircle the great monotheistic religions in a true embrace. Produced by the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (MuCEM) in Marseille, where it was presented between April and August 2015 with great success, the new version of the exhibition is a collaboration between the MuCEM, the Institut National du Patrimoine of Tunis and the Bardo Museum.