“Destination Mucem”, a bus crisscrosses the working-class neighborhoods to facilitate access to culture

The RTM bus dating from 1978 for the operation – Julie Cohen Mucem

  • The first trip of the “Destination Mucem” operation took place this Sunday.
  • A 1978 RTM bus crosses the priority districts of Marseille to take residents to Mucem.
  • This operation aims to facilitate access to culture for these populations geographically and socially distant from museums.

An almost magical bus for the inhabitants of the priority districts of Marseille. They were about thirty this Sunday morning to set foot for the first time on the Mucem esplanade, for some. Like Samira and her three children, including Tasnine, 9 years old. “This is my first time at the Mucem. We live in the 15th arrondissement and to come you have to take buses and the metro. What am I looking forward to the most? It’s about learning things, ”says the young girl, who is also waiting for the picnic prepared by her mother for the occasion.

They are among the first to benefit from the “Destination Mucem” operation, set up by the museum for the first time this Sunday. Every Sunday, an old bus of the RTM from 1978, restored by the friends of rail and Marseille transport (ARTM), crisscrosses the priority areas of the city to take its inhabitants free of charge to the Mucem.

Remoteness and self-censorship

On the first Sunday of the month, the bus takes a route to the north-east of Marseille, in the 13th and 14th arrondissements, the second to the east in the 10, 11 and 12th arrondissements, the third to the south of the city in the 9th and 12th arrondissements. 10th arrondissements and the last, like this Sunday, in the north of Marseille, in the 15th and 16th arrondissements. “It was important for us to offer four different routes, because there are not only priority neighborhoods in the north, but also in the south and east of the city even if they are less known,” recalled Jean- François Chougnet, president of Mucem.

This Destination Mucem operation was made possible by the Art explora foundation, a cultural foundation for the sharing of art and culture among all audiences, of which this is the first project. “It’s a very simple project that offers solutions to the geographic, social and economic remoteness of certain populations. Free is never enough but it is a necessity, and beyond the distance there is a form of self-censorship of these people who can be impressed, or think that they are not in their place ” , explained Bruno Julliard, general delegate of the Art Explora Foundation.

Mediation is offered throughout the journey on the theme of travel and discovery in order to prepare the visit and provide these new visitors with reading and understanding tools. Because Jean-François Chougnet notes an over-representation of the wealthiest districts of Marseille, the 1st, 6th, 7th and 8th, unlike those of the 13th, 14th, 15th, or 16th in his studies of attendance at Mucem.

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