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Red Cross Museum: See the Human Evil and the Humanitarian Response to it

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

The Humanitarian Adventure of the Red Cross Museum offers you a unique opportunity to enter into the history of humanitarian action breaking away from traditional museums and exhibitions.

As a result of an architectural competition, the proposal by architects Zoelly, Haefeli and Girardet won and the first stone was set in 1985 and the museum opened in 1988. The Museum is guided in all its activities by the fundamental principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. It shall refrain from any action or position that is inconsistent with the mission, objects, values and humanitarian ideals of the Movement. The museum calls the visitors to reflect these through the exhibits and presentations highlighting the issues, values and the current situation of humanitarian action - as a place of memory and debate.

Through the production of original artistic content and the development of ambitious partnerships in Switzerland and throughout the world, the museum contributes to the outreach of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and of Geneva.

Three separate areas, each developed by a well-known exhibition architect from a different cultural background, allow you to explore three major challenges in today’s world: 1) Defending Human Dignity: 2) Restoring Family Links and 3) Reducing Natural Risks. These issues prevail every day and will continue to affect our common future for decades to come.

An interactive chronology depicts some150 years of humanitarian history, while the “on the spot” exhibition takes you to the current Red Cross and Red Crescent operations right around the globe. The also Museum conserves objects that document the major stages in the development of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement: Foundation of the Red Cross, Geneva Convention, First World War, Second World War, decolonization and contemporary challenges, particularly those associated with prevention. It also has a unique collection of items made by prisoners as gifts for ICRC delegates.

The Museum cooperates with 12 National Societies which represent the diversity of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and supply the Museum with items that document the work that they do: posters, photographs, films and objects. Consequently, the Museum’s poster collection is definitely a major highlight of the collection. More than 10,000 posters document the work of the Movement from the late 19th century until today.

The Museum is fully accessible in a wheel chair or with a pram, including the cloakroom, the loos and the museum shop. The lockers operate with a 1 franc or 1 Euro coins that are refunded after use.

After the museum, have a break at the restaurant located on the roof of the Museum. There is a large terrace with an exceptional view of Mont Blanc and the Palais des Nations, the European Headquarters of the United Nations - a great idea to combine the visits! The restaurant is open Monday - Friday 7:30 - 16:30.

The Museum shop has a good selection of literature on related topics and gift items for practical daily life, while you can simultaneously support the good work of the Red Cross!

International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum

Avenue de la Paix 17

1202 Geneva -Switzerland


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