The rise of a nation, art at the dawn of a modern Tunisia (1837 - 1881)

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This exhibition, the first of its kind in Tunisia, allowed Tunisians to reconnect with a part forgotten in their modern history and through art history of the nineteenth century.
Molka Haj Salem
+216.71 781 467
On the sixtieth anniversary of Independence and the fifth anniversary of the revolution of 2011, the Rambourg Foundation and Ridha Moumni, art historian and exhibition curator have, through this event, highlighted a pivotal and founding period of the Tunisian history : That of the great reforms of the 19th century carried out under the last Beys of the Ottoman Tunisia which set the country on the path of modernity. Through the art of this period, a whole section of a forgotten story has been exhibited, making this cultural heritage accessible to everyone, for the first time in over a century.

The exhibition organized by the National Heritage Institute and the Rambourg Foundation is a first in the public-private partnership in the heritage field. 
The project experienced a remarkable evolution in its content as a result of common reflection on the objectives of the exhibition. Initially, it was imperative to save the Institute's collection of paintings from the Husseinite era, to train restorers, thus implementing a public presentation. 
Adding to this archaeological objects and historical documents, in order to portray even the most prominent features of a founder phase of the national history: Reforms undertaken by Tunisia between 1830 and 1881.

This exhibition represents an important memory work and reappropriation for all Tunisians, and in particular for young people, of their history, which constitutes the substrate of their present.

The promotion of education and the democratization of culture are essential, therefore, the Foundation
Rambourg intends to encourage access to this exhibition for young people. School buses, families from various parts of Tunisia came to discover the hidden treasures of the times of the beys and thus dive back into their national history.

The Qsar es-Said palace has come back to life and has become a place of exchange, sharing and cohesion,
around a national history.  For almost 5 months, around twenty Tunisian and foreign restaurateurs were able to restore nearly 300 works and objects (historical paintings, manuscripts, drawings,period medals and costumes).

The exhibition was a triumph. It attracted a total of 45,123 visitors, of which 1,596 came from 34 different nationalities and 300,000 visitors on social networks.

"The primary objective of the exhibition is to democratize access to heritage. Especially for
young people, who do not or hardly study this period of history at school. "