Musée National Ahmed Zabana
Musée National Ahmed Zabana information
The main museum is little-visited by foreigners, but the Musée National Ahmed Zabana is one of the keys to understanding the city, although the collection doesn’t always live up to the grandeur of the building. A large 1st-floor room tells the local story of the battle for independence, most moving being the list of local people executed by the French between 1954 and 1962. The extensive, neglected natural history collection includes giant lobsters and calamari and, in the basement among the stuffed animals, a shark, all caught in the bay. More interesting are the ancient sculptures, some good mosaics and terracotta portraits. The paintings are more surprising, being a mix of works by 20th-century Algerian artists, French Orientalists including Eugene Fromentin and some 18th-century studies of mythical subjects.