This museum is a tribute to the marquis Folco Baroncelli-Javon (1869-1943),
a symbolic character of the Camargue. Lou Marquès, the director of the
provincial poetry newspaper called “l’ Aïoli” in Avignon, an ardent
defender of the customs of ecological, traditional and cultural
heritage in the Camargue, lived like a “gardian” ( cowboy) and fought
for tolerance. Through his efforts, ecclesiastic authorities came to
recognize the gypsies’ pilgrimage.
The museum shelters the testimonies of traditions of the Camargue, collections dedicated to the zoology in the Camargue, to the archaeology in Saintes Maries de la Mer and to the regional folklore. All the pieces were collected in 1942 by a group of local curators.
The museum is located in the former town hall, also court of justice and peace, built in 1876 by Veran, an architect from Arles, which replaces the first town hall built in 1655.
From this building, only the marble medallions in the coat of arms of France and Navarre still exist, originating partly from Saintes Marie de la Mer, partly sculpted by the artist Pierre Sibrent from Lyon in the 17th century.