Musée d'ethnographie de Genève

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Geneva Ethnography Museum
Musée d'ethnographie de Genève
MEG Geneve - nouveau batiment - 2014-11-26.jpg
Façade of the new building
Established25 September 1901 (1901-09-25)
Location Geneva, Switzerland
Coordinates 46°11′53″N6°08′13″E / 46.197946°N 6.136959°E / 46.197946; 6.136959
Type Ethnographic
Collection size75,000 objects and over 130,000 documents
Founder Eugène Pittard
Director Boris Wastiau

The Musée d'ethnographie de Genève ("Geneva Ethnography Museum") is one of the most important ethnographic museums in Switzerland.



The MEG, or Geneva Museum of Ethnography, was founded on 25 September 1901, on the initiative of Professor Eugène Pittard (1867-1962), who also held the first Chair of Anthropology at the University of Geneva. [1] It was first housed in Mon Repos villa. [2] Pittard brought together public and private collections, mainly the ethnographic collections of the Archaeology Museum and the Musée Ariana, the holdings of the Evangelical Missionary Society Museum and weapons from the Geneva History Museum.

Eugène Pittard Swiss anthropologist

Eugène Pittard (1867–1962) was a Swiss anthropologist notable for his work Les Races et l'Histoire published in 1924.

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Musée Ariana Museum in Geneva (Switzerland)

The Musée Ariana, also known as the Musée suisse de la céramique et du verre, is a museum in Geneva, Switzerland. It is devoted to ceramic and glass artwork, and contains around 20,000 objects from the last 1,200 years, representing the historic, geographic, artistic and technological breadth of glass and ceramic manufacture during this time. The collection is the only one of its kind in Switzerland.

In 1939, the MEG moved into the disused buildings of the Mail primary school in boulevard Carl Vogt. It opened in the new premises on 12 July 1941, sharing the space with the Anthropology Department of the University until 1967. The building was extended in 1949; in 1975 the city bought the Lombard villa in Chêne-Bougeries, which became the Conches annex.

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Between 1980 and 2001, three proposals to build a new museum in Sturm Square were rejected. [3] The city then envisaged renovating and extending the building on its present site. The City Council unanimously approved the project on 21 March 2007. [4]

The MEG’s new pagoda-shaped building was opened on 31 October 2014, after four years of construction work. It was designed by Graber Pulver Architekten AG, with ACAU architecture and town planning, in partnership with the civil engineering firm Weber + Brönnimann EG. The galleries and an auditorium are located in the basement; the cafeteria, museum shop and ticket office are on the ground floor, facing the garden. Upstairs are restoration and cultural outreach workshops, as well as the library, which is named after a generous patron, Marie Madeleine Lancoux. The library includes a small space for listening to music from all over the world. The old building has also been renovated and now houses the offices and ethnomusicology workshops. The three buildings in the ensemble - the old museum, the new MEG and a primary school – enclose a small square planted with trees and flowers. [5] [6]

The museum is on the Swiss Inventory of Cultural Property of National and Regional Significance. [7]

Swiss Inventory of Cultural Property of National and Regional Significance heritage register

The Swiss Inventory of Cultural Property of National and Regional Significance is a register of some 8,300 items of cultural property in Switzerland. It was established according to article 5 of the second protocol to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, which provides for the establishment of national registers of cultural property.

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  1. "L'irrésistible "mendiant magnifique"" [The irresistible "beautiful beggar"]. Campus (in French). University of Geneva. September 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  2. "Parc Mon Repos" (in French). City of Geneva. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  3. "Après le 2 décembre" [After the 2 December](PDF). Totem (in French). No. 34. City of Geneva. January 2001. p. 1.
  4. "Rapport de la commission des arts et de la culture chargée d'examiner la proposition du Conseil administratif du 1 er novembre 2006 en vue de l'adoption d'un projet de résolution relatif au projet d'agrandissement et de rénovation du Musée d'ethnographie (PR-513 A) 1 ." [Report of the commission of arts and culture charged with examining the proposal of the administrative Council of the 1 November 2006 for the adoption of a draft resolution relating to the expansion and renovation of the Museum of Ethnography], Mémorial des séances du conseil municipal de la ville de Genève (in French), City of Geneva, 164e année (51), pp. 6039–6071
  5. "Projet d'agrandissement et de rénovation du Musée d'ethnographie de Genève (Ville de Genève)" [Extension and renovation project at the Geneva Ethnography Museum (City of Geneva)] (in French). City of Geneva. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014.
  6. "Extension et rénovation du MEG" [Extension and renovation of the MEG] (in French). City of Geneva. 2 July 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  7. "Inventaire suisse des biens culturels d'importance nationale - Canton de Genève" [Inventory of Swiss assets of cultural importance - Canton of Geneva](PDF) (in French). 1 January 2015. p. 181. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 February 2015.