European Capitals of CultureΠοιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

3 Episodes as official program


The European Capital of Culture year is split into three 'episodes':

Episode 1: "Marseille Provence welcomes the world", from January to May 2013;

Episode 2: "Marseille Provence under open skies", from May to September 2013

Episode 3: "Marseille Provence - a Thousand Faces" from September to December 2013.


Episode 1: January to May "Marseille Provence welcomes the world"

The first episode builds on Marseille's reputation for hospitality and welcomes circus performers from around the globe. It also sees the opening of several new galleries and exhibitions.


Since the Provence is already a base for circus companies such as Archaos, there are every year circus performances taking place in theatres and in the open air. These types of circus performances are not about parading animals around a ring, but are new forms of entertainment. They include acrobatic, artistic, and other kinds of performances.

From 25 January to 24 February a number of national and international companies will be performing, including Cirkus Cirkor (Sweden), La Putyka (Czech), Orit Nevo (Israel), Les Colporteurs, Ludor Citrik, Gilles Defacque, Cahin Caha, Trottola, Pré-O-ccup.

A programme (only in French at the moment) can be downloaded from the MP2013 website.


Episode 2: June to August "Marseille Provence under the open skies"

The second episode focuses on the open air, nature trails and open air concerts under the stars. There will also be a Transhumance, a voyage of people and animals from around the Mediterranean area into Marseille and Aubagne.

Museum opening June 2013

The new national museum of European and Mediterranean civilizations shall be opened. It is located at Fort Saint Jean on the Vieux Port.



This is a huge project and the building designed by architect Rudy Ricciotti will house a national collection dedicated to the culture(s) of the Mediterranean.


Episode 3: September to December "Marseille Provence - a Thousand Faces"

During the final episode the main focus shall be on art, but also on living together in public spaces and in particular on contemporary writing. It is said that the third component will feature some of the Mediterranean's most renowned artists and philosophers. As such it promises an extension to Arab philosophers as stated in the original bid, but one has to wait and see what will be brought about by all the contacts made during the preparatory years and then during the actual year.

Restaurations and new buildings

There are a number of existing buildings that are being renovated and extended in and around Marseille. These include:

A large house which will become a museum of decorative arts, as well as the museum of fashion (currently on the Canebière) and the ceramics museum (currently in the Parc Pastré). Due to open in June 2013.

Located in the Palais Longchamp, this is a very impressive building with its massive fountain at the entrance. The gallery is due to reopen in June 2013.

A centre dedicated to street performance, which is in an old olive oil producing area known as Les Aygalades in the 15 arrondissement. It's a huge training area for artists and acrobats.

New Galleries and venues

Le Silo opened 2011

Le Silo is a new concert arena on the docks. It is, as the name suggests, a converted silo. Much of the original building has been retained so it's very impressive.

The programme can be found on The Silo website

Villa Méditerranée opening April 2013


Villa Mediterranée designed by the architect Stefano Boeri, is in the area known as J4, along the sea front between the Fort Saint Jean and the cathedral La Major. It has two main public areas, one under the sea and one in the air. It will house a permanent exhibition Parcours des Méditerranées (Mediterranean trails), where visitors will be able to “see and live” the experience of the Mediterranean. There are two temporary exhibitions starting on 9 April: "2031 The Mediterranean, our futures", and "Further than the Horizon". The programme will be available from the Villa Méditerranée website from 20 February.

J1 open 12 January to 18 May 2013 and 11 October to 12 January 2014

A huge hangar situated in the old port area of Marseille, (metro line 2 or Tram line 2 to Joliette). On the quay the ferries will still operate. In the building above there is a huge space housing three galleries, a performance space and a bar/restaurant. It has fantastic views over the port. This is where many of the major events will take place in 2013. Entry to the building and some of the exhibitions is free. Entry to the main exhibition is 9€. J1 is open every day between noon and 6pm.


FRAC opening March 2013

FRAC (Fonds Régional de l'Art Contemporain) a home for contemporary art collections and an exhibition space at 10 Boulevard Dunkirk in the area known as Euromediterranée, where there has already been a lot of redevelopment. The building is designed by Kengo Kuma.

The Panorama open January 2013

An addition to the Friche de la Belle de Mai, an ex-tobacco factory that has been a community art and performance centre for some time, it is a new space for the presentation of contemporary art. It has a panoramic view over the city and 2400m2 of exhibition space.

The Friche will be host to many events during 2013, including theatre (featuring contemporary Arabic works), music, dance and l'art culinaire. You'll find the programme (in French) on the Friche website.



In J1 "Mediterraneans, from yesterday's cities to today's men" an exhibition based on a fictional journey around the Mediterranean tracing its real and mythological history, presented through the eyes of contemporary inhabitants and artists. It features 11 animated films and photographs commissioned by British photographer Brian Griffin. Entry is 9€. Details of the exhibition in English are here.

"Ici, Ailleurs" (here and elsewhere), an exhibition of contemporary art from around the coast of the Mediterranean. It features the work of 39 internationally renowned artists from around the Mediterranean. It's in the new exhibition space “Tour Panorama" at the Friche de la Belle de Mai. Open Tuesday to Sunday 1pm to 9pm and entry is 6€.

"La Fabrique des possibles" an exhibition to celebrate the opening of FRAC, based around the meeting of science, mathematics and experimental art.

"Le Trésor des Marseillais" at the Vieille Charité. In the 6th century BC when Marseille (Massalia) was one of the most powerful Mediterranean ports, its residents offered a treasure to the gods at Delphi. Visitors can see and enter a 3D image of the monument and the ruins in the Puget chapel. In the surrounding halls, there is an exhibition of photographs taken by Magnum artist Josef Koudelka. "Vestiges" is a series of panoramic images of archaeological sites around the Mediterranean, including Syria, Libya and the North African countries at the Musée Cantini, "Matta, Le Surréalisme et l’Histoire", a collection of over 60 works from French and International public and private collections.

Regards de Provence shows its collection Reflets de la Méditerranée in its new location, the old Station Sanitaire, close to cathedral La Major. The building will also house a permanent exhibition showing the history of the Station Sanitaire.

In the Parc du Pharo there will be a monumental sculpture by Bernar Venet.

Printemps de l'Art Contemporain. It is possible to choose from a number of contemporary art trails in different areas of the city.


Source: accessed on 11.2.2013

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