Object of covetousness and conquest, traditionally a symbol of power and wealth, gold is also, by its very plasticity, the material of all metamorphoses, quality making it a privileged medium in the arts.
Combining history and contemporary creation, this exhibition brings together masterpieces reflecting the fascination of Euro-Mediterranean civilizations for this material for more than three thousand years. There will be at once archaeological objects (ingots, funerary masks, ornaments ...), objects from the collections of the Mucem (gold-related crafts, reliquaries, ritual objects ...), films and documents as well as works of art. Modern and contemporary art, including Ossip Zadkine, Victor Brauner, Yves Klein, James Lee Byars, Louise Bourgeois, Jean-Michel Othoniel, Johan Creten, Liza Lou ...
Nuggets and adornments, statues and relics, objects of worship or ceremonial testify to the different themes addressed in the exhibition: the fascination with gold and its hoarding, the frantic quest for this material and its negative impacts on men and the environment, the technical aspects related to its transformation, from the most concrete gestures to the alchemical illusion, the symbolic dimensions associated with divinity and power, its festive, ritual and demonstrative aspects.
It is not therefore a question of offering to the public a new accumulation of treasures which would retain this precious metal only its dead splendor. On the contrary, the dialogue between archeology, history and contemporary creation will make it possible to apprehend gold in its dreamlike, political imaginations and its creative luminosity.