Av. Juárez 8, Colonia Centro, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06010 Ciudad de México, CDMX
(55) 5130 5555
“Promote the importance of tolerance, non-violence, and Human Rights. Create a conscience through historic memory, particularly derived from genocide and other crimes. Warn about the dangers of indifference, discrimination, and violence in order to create responsibility, respect, and conscience in each individual that results in social activity”
– Museum of Memory and Tolerance’s Mission Statement
Now that the world is living again through troubled times, the importance of remembering humanity’s past mistakes seems more relevant than ever. There’s an ever-present urgency for the newer generations to learn the disastrous consequences derived from violence, indifference, and intolerance. The Museum of Memory and Tolerance in Mexico City was established with such a purpose in 2010, and with its exhibitions, it promotes diversity and tolerance based on historical memory, shown in its expositions dedicated to genocide and its multimedia presentations exposing the value of tolerance.
The museum was built after years of lobbying on behalf of the “Memory and Tolerance” civil association, founded in 1999. This association started its efforts by reuniting holocaust survivors and promoting their testimonials in order for the newer generations to take notice of these atrocities of the past. In 2003, the renowned architecture firm of Ricardo Legorreta started undergoing the design of what would finally be the physical museum, which would be located in an area close to the Palacio de Bellas Artes and whose buildings had been damaged in the great earthquake of 1985.
The building that housed the museum was part of a larger complex that would also include the Superior Court Justice of Mexico City, and the Secretary of Foreign Relations for the city. A large cube structure was placed front and center in the atrium of the museum, it was designed by artist Jan Hendrix, and it commemorates the children murdered in those horrific genocides. Access to the museum costs $75 pesos for adults and $60 pesos for students, professors, and senior citizens. It’s right in front of the Palacio de Bellas Artes and its metro station.
The museum has exhibitions dedicated to the genocides of: the Holocaust, Yugoslavia, Ruanda, Guatemala, Cambodia, Darfur, and the Armenian genocide. The exhibition dedicated to tolerance invites the audience to recognize, respect, and value diversity; it also teaches them to avoid prejudice and stereotypes. The Dalai Lama personally inaugurated an exhibition dedicated to Tibet in 2011. This museum is a real eye-opener on the horrific nature of some of humanity’s past mistakes, which at times seem on the verge of being forgotten, and unfortunately repeated.