Even with over 30 museums Malaga is still counting. The latest arrival brings a unique private collection of archaeological finds from ancient Mediterranean civilisations. Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Canaan, Persian and Sheba all feature along with perhaps the best part of this new museum in Malaga a Phoenician homecoming.
What you’ll see at this new museum in Malaga
The Ifergan Collection holds one of the world’s largest private archaeological collections. The museum showcases exceptional pieces from 10 different civilisations, all of which you’ll have heard of but perhaps never seen before.
It takes the visitor back thousands of years – the oldest pieces date from Mesopotamia from 4500BC – in a round the Mediterranean tour. Not only do you get to see some interesting artefacts, masks and weaponry, there’s also an Egyptian mummy, a Byzantine tomb door and a collection of bronze Persian daggers.
The collection has been exceptionally well curated. We particularly liked the maps above each section showing you where each civilisation was located geographically. As well as a lesson in geography – we had no idea the Persian empire stretched quite so far – you also get some historical insight. Each section comes with a few notes and diagrams on the lifestyle at the time.
We also liked the quote for each one. Hypatia of Alexandria from Greece in 4-5AD said, “understanding the things around us is the best training to understanding the things in the afterlife”.
Items come clearly labelled and the English translations are excellent.
One of the biggest draws of the Ifergan Collection is the Malaka Room, home to nearly 100 extraordinary Phoenician figures. The Phoenicians, who originally hailed from the eastern Mediterranean, were Malaga’s first inhabitants. The terracotta figures in the room bring them right into the 21st century.
A video tells the story of how this peaceful civilisation was forced to flee from Tyre and Alexander the Great’s siege in a boat to Malaga. On board were the precious terracotta figures, all modelled on real people. The convoy hit a storm with all cargo and passengers sunk without trace until 1958 when Libanese fishermen discovered the haul. After their own Odyssey of almost 2,500 years, the Phoenicians are “now all together again here in Malaga”.
Along with the Phoenician figures and their story, we liked the Phoenician bone boat in stunning blues and greens. And yes, of course it’s a jabega! The collection of stone and marble idols is also stunning as is the Grecian bronze mask, which reminded us of the Corinthian one in the Museum of Malaga. And the Queen of Sheba idol.
Ifergan Collection information
Location: Calle Sebastián Souviron 9 (just behind Atarazanas Market)
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 7pm
Admission: €6; concessions €5.50, under 7s free
Suitable for children: depends on their interest – apart from 2 objects in the entrance you can’t touch anything. The Egyptian mummy is a big draw but probably not a big enough one for most kids.
Time to allow: around an hour.
More information: Ifergan Collection website (in Spanish only).
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(Photo credit: Ifergan Collection)