Previous special exhibitions

Belle Époque

Teaser image for the special exhibition: picture looks like a painting. At the top of the picture is written «Lago Maggiore». Below stands a neatly dressed man. He leans against a waist-high wall and looks into the distance. In addition he smokes a cigarette. In the foreground you can see a woman in a red dress sitting on a chair and leaning backwards against the same wall. In front of the woman sits a dog that looks at her. In the background of this scenery one sees the Lago Maggiore, some hills at the board of the lake. the Alps and a ship, which crosses the lake. at the lower right edge of the picture, one sees the timetable of the ship crossing from the year 1906.
Teaser image for the exhibition Belle Époque: In the foreground sits a woman dressed in orange dress and hat which looks into the distance. In the background you can see Lake Lugano. On the shore you can see the Customs Museum.

Twenty large posters from the Swiss National Library recount the charm of tourism in the Lake Lugano and Lake Maggiore region during the Belle Époque (1880-1915). A journey through time, when going on holiday was still a privilege for the few.

Beguiling appearance - murky shadows?

In the left part of the picture you can see a hand prosthesis in the form of a metal hoe as known from pirate movies. In the right part of the picture you can see the title and further information about the special exhibition.

We have all heard of counterfeit products. People who deliberately choose a counterfeit product, however, often do not think of the consequences of their action and the background behind counterfeiting and trademark piracy. But what is hidden behind the supposed bargain?

The exhibition leads visitors into the world of counterfeiters. They find out who and what are behind counterfeits, how to recognise them and why it pays to buy the original.

Bern Museum Night 2015

Plakat Berner Museumsnacht 2015

The Swiss Customs Museum in Cantine di Gandria, on the shore of Lake Lugano, is an institution of the Confederation and, just like the Bellevue Palace Hotel in Bern, is part of the Federal Department of Finance (FDF).

For one time only, the "Smugglers' Museum" will be a guest exhibit at the 2015 Bern Museum Night and will present the tasks performed by Customs and the Border Guard in spectacular surroundings.

Refuge - protection - humanity, about the work ot the UNHCR

Plakat Sonderausstellung Flucht Schutz Humanität

Worldwide there are some 68.5 million people in search of refuge. They are fleeing from persecution, war and violence. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) works to ensure protection for refugees and ensures that the human rights of refugees are upheld worldwide.

The first person that refugees arriving in Switzerland encounter is often a border guard. The exhibition portrays what it is like to be a refugee, what the UNHCR does for people in crisis zones and how Switzerland, traditionally a haven for refugees, fulfils its humanitarian role.

For sale? Smuggling of cultural property and customs

Sonderausstellung Kulturgüterschmuggel

Cultural property is valuable, fascinating - and is acutely under threat worldwide. The extent of the theft of cultural assets in many countries is frightening: the prospect of rapid profit and modern satellite search methods have opened the door to organised crime for looting of immense proportions.

Art treasures from all over the world astonish young an old alike

Switzerland has long had the reputation of being a hub for the illegal trade in cultural property. This has changed since the Cultural Property Transfer Act came into force on 1 June 2005: with impressive pictures and selected exhibits, the special exhibition shows how the Swiss authorities - in particular the Federal Office of Culture and Customs - take action against the criminal trade in cultural property and how a fair cultural exchange can be guaranteed by Switzerland.

In the second exhibition room, children and adults get to know the work of Swiss customs in a playful way and using multimedia. They experience the significance of cultural property for a society's identity, self-image and social cohesion. And some people will suddenly fall silent when they stand in front of the mural about which the exhibition organisers provide information about the damage that thoughtless tourists can cause on their sightseeing tours of cultural property.