National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Art Galleries, Algiers, Algeria
When the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Algiers was inaugurated on 1 December 2007, it had the lofty goal of initiating a cultural renewal following a period of unrest in the 1990s which had pushed cultural interest into the background. While this period of turmoil has passed, long-standing and budding artists were focused on making a living and did not have the time or resources to pursue artistic goals. This is where the National Museum of Contemporary Art played a crucial role in reestablishing the artistic community in Algiers.
Shortly after its opening, the director of the museum, Mohammed Djehiche, noted that the response of the public to the exhibitions had been very encouraging and served as an indication of how far this bustling Algerian city had come in a relatively short period of time. Having opened with an exhibition of sculptures and larger-than-life paintings by Algerian artist Malek Saleh, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art continues to attract growing numbers of both local and international visitors. The building housing the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art was previously a luxury department store and has been expertly renovated to showcase artworks by local and international artists. Works by Algerian artists often portray the difficulties experienced by Algerians in the past, offering insight into the history that shaped Algeria and the the impact it had on the lives of its people.