Musée Regards de Provence, Marseille

by Bert Schwarz

The exhibition is part of the Foundation Regards de Provence, an organisation that owns a collection of around 900 works of art created in and around Provence.

Until recently, the Foundation was housed in the Palais des Arts, formerly the municipal library and archive, an artistic building designed by Henri-Jacques Espérandieu, the architect of Notre Dame de la Garde. However, the new premises are very different.

Story, Camera, Edit : Bert Schwarz

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The Musée Regards de Provence was built in 1948 near the cathedral in the very fast growing harbour area of Marseille. The The architect was Fernand Pouillon, who also designed the large, brutal apartment buildings on the north quay of the Old Port of Marseille.

Originally, the building was intended as a sanitary station, where people arriving from abroad by sea or air could find a disinfection, testing and vaccination procedures to combat the pervasive threat of urban epidemics.

Musée Regards de Provence © Bert Schwarz

The building had been abandoned for about 40 years and was occupied by squatters when the Foundation acquired it in a deplorable condition. The 6.5 million Euro restoration project was supervised by the Marseille-based architect Guy Daher.

Musée Regards de Provence © Bert Schwarz

Don't worry if the restaurant is full: The outdoor terrace has the best view, salad and drinks are available at the bar.