Previous special exhibitions
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.
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.
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.