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The Bardo in Tunis is my favorite museum not only for its vast collection of Roman Mosaics, but because my daughter and I had a great time there together on a very hot July day in 2010. The first to arrive there in the morning, we had the place to ourselves for the first hour. Because of a significant renovation underway, we were not able to see the entire collection, but what was there was more than enough to engage us without overwhelming us. Some museums are so enormous—i.e., The British Museum and The Uffizi—that I can leave feeling a bit washed out…sensory overload.
The timing of our visit also is a factor in making it my favorite. During the same trip to North Africa, we had the opportunity to see The Cairo Museum. Given the subsequent Jasmine Spring in Egypt and in Tunisia, the experiences we had on the month-long trip have been placed in relief in my memory. I know that, if we were to return now, we would find changed places. I clearly feel the potency of having been in each country on the eve of dramatic change, and when I think of The Bardo, I feel that most powerfully.
In a future post I will write about our visit to The British Library and British Museum. That trip on July 21, 2005 had more immediate drama…