Morocco’s First Contemporary Art Museum Opens

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The Mohammed VI Modern and Contemporary Art Museum.
Photo: Courtesy the Mohammed VI Modern and Contemporary Art Museum.
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The Mohammed VI Modern and Contemporary Art Museum.
Photo: Courtesy the Mohammed VI Modern and Contemporary Art Museum.

Morocco has just opened its first museum devoted to contemporary art, and the first major museum built since the country gained independence from France in 1956.

King Mohammed VI—was on hand Wednesday to open the new institution, which bears his name, the AFP reports. The Mohammed VI Modern and Contemporary Art Museum (MMVI) has been under construction in central Rabat for a decade. Its design was inspired by traditional Moroccan architecture and cost about $21.5 million to build. The inaugural exhibition at MMVI, “1914–2014: 100 Years of Creation,” brings together some 400 artworks by 150 Moroccan artists, and represents both the strong tendencies toward abstract and figurative art in the country’s recent output.

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The Mohammed VI Modern and Contemporary Art Museum.
Photo: Courtesy the Mohammed VI Modern and Contemporary Art Museum.

The new institution’s operating budget and admission costs have yet to be announced, but it has already brokered partnerships with the Louvre and the Musée des civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée in Marseille—neither of which does much in the way of modern and contemporary art, mind you.

The museum’s inauguration coincided with the beginning of construction on the new Grand Theater nearby, which has been designed by Zaha Hadid. These new large-scale projects are reflective of Mohammed VI’s “wish to make of the capital a real cultural crossroads,” as Mehdi Qotbi, president of Morocco’s National Foundation of Museums, told the AFP.


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