The Berber Museum, inaugurated in 2011 under the High Patronage of His Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco, is housed in the former painting studio of the artist Jacques Majorelle. It presents a panorama of the extraordinary creativity of the Berbers (Imazighen), the most ancient people of North Africa. More than 600 objects, collected from the Rif Mountains to the Sahara by Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent, attest to the richness and diversity of this vibrant culture, which is still very much alive today.
The collection is displayed in four distinct spaces, each devoted to a particular theme. Before entering the exhibition rooms, we are presented with an overview of the history of the Berber (Imazighen) people of Morocco as well as a map showing the location of the major Berber tribes throughout the country. Audiovisual elements are used in the museum to enhance visitors’ appreciation of Berber culture.
“Since my arrival in Marrakech in 1966, I have remained fascinated by Berber art and culture. Over the years, I have collected and admired this art which extends over many countries at the same time.
The Berbers have always been rightly proud of their culture, and have not ceased to reclaim their identity in spite of the vicissitudes they have faced. In Marrakech, in Berber country, in the Jardin Majorelle, which was created by an artist who painted so many scenes of Berber men and women, the idea of this museum occurred to us quite naturally.”