(Le Bardo) The Bardo National Museum, a jewel of Tunisian heritage, reopened its doors to the general public on Thursday, welcoming dozens of Tunisian visitors and tourists, two years after its closure in July 2021, journalists from the ‘AFP.

The largest museum in Tunisia, with its collections of rare mosaics and housed in a former 19th-century Beylical palace, the Bardo Museum had been closed for “redevelopment work,” according to the Tunisian Ministry of Culture.

Located within the same perimeter of the Assembly of People’s Representatives, in the Tunisian capital, it was closed after the freezing of Parliament’s activities by President Kais Saied, who assumed full powers on July 25, 2021.

Several spaces have been enlarged, allowing the reorganization of its collections and the exhibition of other works, the museum director, Fatma Naït Yghil, told the press, saying she was “proud of the work carried out”.

Civil Protection and police units are now deployed “to ensure the safety” of visitors, she added.

An hour after its reopening, the museum already welcomed around a hundred visitors, including several tourists, AFP noted.

Some contemplated several giant ancient mosaic pieces, including the god Neptune on a chariot or the hero Hercules and his beloved Omphale.

New departments have been added to the museum, including one dedicated to Islamic manuscripts.

“I’m happy to finally be able to visit the museum before returning to Germany,” Radhia Mokni, 25, who will board her flight Thursday evening, happily told AFP.

Working in a museum, she was curious to discover “the treasures” of Tunisia’s heritage.

“There are a lot of riches” at the Bardo Museum “and I am really happy with this reopening because this place is a cultural beacon for Tunisia,” added Radhia.

On the ground floor, the marble statue of the goddess of peace, “Concord”, was exhibited next to the funerary stele of the victims of the bloody attack on the museum on March 18, 2015, claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group and which left 22 dead (21 foreign tourists and a Tunisian police officer).

“It is a message of peace and tolerance,” said Ms. Naït Yghil.