Tunisia to Reopen Bardo Museum after Two-Year Closure

A man walks inside the Bardo National Museum in Tunisia (Reuters).
A man walks inside the Bardo National Museum in Tunisia (Reuters).
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Tunisia to Reopen Bardo Museum after Two-Year Closure

A man walks inside the Bardo National Museum in Tunisia (Reuters).
A man walks inside the Bardo National Museum in Tunisia (Reuters).

The Tunisian authorities announced reopening the Bardo Museum, one of the most esteemed international institutions exhibiting a unique collection of mosaics. The museum has been closed for maintenance since 2021.

“The Bardo National Museum will reopen its doors to the public on Thursday, from 9:00 am till 4:30 pm,” the Tunisian Culture Ministry said in a statement.

“New spaces have been created in the Bardo National Museum, where archaeological and artistic artefacts, including mosaic paintings and marble sculptures, will be displayed for the first time after restoration and maintenance,” the statement added.

The museum was closed for maintenance since 2021, after Tunisian President Kais Saied decided to seize the rule in the country, freeze and suspend the parliament, and control the executive authorities.

Established in 1888, the museum, which houses thousands of Roman mosaics from the second century BC, is a major destination for tourists and researchers, according to AFP.

Located in the Bardo area, in Tunis, the museum was attacked by extremist who killed over 20 tourists and security guards in 2015.

The ministry shared photos and videos of the preparations for the new opening.



Colombian Bullfighters Decry New Ban on Centuries-old Tradition

Photos of bullfighters decorate the walls of the bullring in Choachi, Colombia, Saturday, June 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
Photos of bullfighters decorate the walls of the bullring in Choachi, Colombia, Saturday, June 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
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Colombian Bullfighters Decry New Ban on Centuries-old Tradition

Photos of bullfighters decorate the walls of the bullring in Choachi, Colombia, Saturday, June 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
Photos of bullfighters decorate the walls of the bullring in Choachi, Colombia, Saturday, June 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

Sebastián Caqueza says a new law to ban bullfighting in Colombia by 2028 will not dampen his passion for the sport that he has been practicing since has was a small boy.

Caqueza became a professional matador five years ago by taunting a fully grown bull for about 20 minutes and killing it with his sword, in a ceremony known as the Alternativa. Now, the 33-year-old says he will struggle to make a living as a bullfighter, but vows to do his best to stay in the centuries-old tradition.

“I will continue to participate in bullfights outside of Colombia,” said Caqueza. “And once bullfights are illegal in Colombia, we will stage them here anyway, because this is our passion and our life.”

“I will die a bullfighter” The AP quoted Caqueza as saying.

The legislation signed Monday by President Gustavo Petro places restrictions on bullfighting for a three-year transitional period and then imposes a full ban by 2028. It also orders the government to turn more than a dozen bullfighting arenas into concert halls and exhibition venues.

The bill was approved earlier this year by Colombia’s Congress after a heated debate. It removes Colombia from the short list of countries where bullfighting is still legal, including Spain, France, Portugal, Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru, although the bill does not spell out sanctions for those who continue to stage bullfights.

Recent polls conducted across Colombia indicate bullfighting has lost popularity in the South American country, and animal rights activists have widely celebrated the government’s efforts to end an endeavor they describe as cruel and out of touch with modern values.

Bullfighting aficionados, and those who make a living from the sport, argue the government is threatening the cultural freedoms of minorities.

The bill has especially worried matadors, their assistants and cattle ranchers who specialize in rearing fighting bulls, whose future is now uncertain.