Musée Arles Antique
The Musée Départemental Arles Antique is an archaeological museum, located in the city of Arles, among the most important in southern France and Provence.
Arles has some of the best preserved Roman ruins in France – including a famous amphitheater, an aqueduct, and a bath complex – which together are an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981.
A much needed museum where to present the many artifacts recovered from the archaeological excavations was planned in the late 1960s and eventually built in 1983, after a design by French architect Henri Cipriani.
The museum’s building is easily recognizable in the cityscape, it’s a large triangular construction, clad with deep-blue metal panels, located on the Rhône river waterfront near the city center, a twenty minute walk from the Roman Arena.
The museum building, photos RemiBenali
Exhibited in a 2,800 square-meter / 30,000 square-foot permanent exhibition space, the vast collection of the Archeological museum of Arles comprises, along with scale models and reconstructions, artifacts dating from Prehistory to the late Roman Empire, including vases, mosaics, sarcophagi, sculptures, and a series of remarkable marble busts.
Views of the permanent exhibition, photos RemiBenali
The museum also hosts special events in its large temporary exhibition space, concerts, film screenings, and conferences.
The museum’s complex includes a restoration center, an auditorium, a documentation center, a cafeteria, and a 6,000 square-meter / 64,000 square-foot Ancient Roman style garden.
The garden of the museum, photos Lionel Roux (up) and MArc Ferrand (down)
Cover image: aerial view of the Musée Arles Antique, photo RemiBenali