Tunisia 4

Bardo (4 sets)

The Bardo National Museum is a museum of Tunis, Tunisia, located in the suburbs of Le Bardo. It is one of the most important museums in the Mediterranean region and the second museum of the African continent after the Egyptian Museum of Cairo by richness of its collections. It traces the history of Tunisia over several millennia and across several civilizations through a wide variety of archaeological pieces.

The museum houses one of the finest and largest collections of Roman mosaics in the world, thanks to the excavations at the beginning of 20th century in various archaeological sites in the country including Carthage, Hadrumetum, Dougga and Utica. Some of the displayed works have no equivalent, such as the Virgil Mosaic. Generally, the mosaics of Bardo 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.

The museum also has some rich pieces discovered during the excavations of Libyco-Punic sites including mainly Carthage, although the National Museum of Carthage has the vocation to be the museum of this major archaeological site. The essential pieces of this department are grimacing masks, terracotta statues and stelae of major interest for Semitic epigraphy, the stele of the priest and the child being the most famous. The museum also houses Greek works discovered especially in the excavations of the shipwreck of Mahdia, whose emblematic piece remains the bust of Aphrodite in marble, gnawed by the sea and yet still of a moving beauty.

The Islamic Department contains, in addition to famous works such as the Blue Qur'an of Kairouan, a collection of ceramics from the Maghreb and Anatolia.

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.