Speakers in this symposium were the Director General of the Palestinian Museum Dr. Mahmoud Hawari, the President of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), and the director of the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (MuCEM) Dr. Myriame Morel, and curator of exhibitions Reem Fadda. The session was moderated by the artist Vera Tamari, and discussions explored the various models of museums experiences; i.e. the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations’ experience (MuCEM), the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi museum, as well as the vision and aspirations of the Palestinian Museum.
Dr. Myriame Morel has presented a summary of the work experience of the Museum of European civilizations and the Mediterranean region (MuCEM), which was inaugurated in 2013 in the important commercial port on the Mediterranean, the French city of Marseille. The museum sought that through this geographical location, it will address civilizations of the Mediterranean region, hence; it will be the sole specialized and focused in this area by holding the semi-permanent exhibition which contains belongings that will highlight mainly the agricultural history, the monotheistic religions, citizenship, and cruises, in addition to the temporary and specialized exhibitions that would address the different aspects of this region.
On the other hand, curator Reem Fadda gave a quick briefing about the Guggenheim Museum, which she says combines between arts and architecture in an unprecedented way. She then elaborated about the idea of project Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum which aims at promoting the transnational perspective on contemporary art history, that will feature a variety of works of art produced by senior and well known artists. The Middle East region will be the highlight and core of this project, in addition to tracing the evolution of the modern movements in the Middle East region and stimulating dialogue among the cultures from a new perspective.
The director of the Palestinian Museum, Dr. Mahmood Howari, gave a presentation about the museum’s vision and approaches, which seek at promoting the Palestinian culture, thus keeping it vibrant and present on the national and international levels, in order to tighten the bond between Palestinians themselves and with those who are assiduous about their own culture and history. He also talked about the current programs in progress, such as “Palestinian trips”, and exhibitions planned to set up soon. He specifically noted that the Palestinian Museum seeks to benefit and learn from the experiences of museums around the world, which comes at the core of this symposium.
It is worth mentioning that the Palestinian Museum will participate in “Qalandiya international”. It will conduct a number of symposiums and children’s workshops. On October 18th the museum will have an intervention entitled “The Theme of the Sea in Palestinian Art & Culture” and another on October the 20th entitled, “At the Seams: A Political History of Palestinian Embroidery”.