Located in the Centre Cultural La Beneficència, the Valencian Museum of Ethnology (L’ETNO) provides an intriguing insight into the ethnohistoric evolution of  Valencian society, with a mission of preserving Valencian culture, memory and ethnological heritage. The museum was created in 1982, in the context of the post-Franco 1980s wave of culturally distinct identities within the Spanish state. Promoted by Joan Frances Mira who was interested in creating an institution surrounding Valencian cultural identity, L’ETNO has been showcasing Valencian culture ever since.

The main exhibition ‘Not Easy to be Valencian,’ is divided into three sections based on the Valencian landscape. The city: local and global is up first and provides an interactive and dynamic walk through of the changes that globalisation has caused to the city of Valencia. There are many thought-provoking displays such as how Valencian homes, which were once full of unique objects and accumulated by several generations… but many of them, are now soulless apartments rented to expats and tourists. With no transition, the exhibition moves on into irrigated farmland, a representation of how it is in the reality of Valencia. In this section of the exhibition, L’ETNO aims to reflect on the preconceived ideas that the population may have on Valencian irrigated farmlands and marshlands. The interactive nature of the exhibition continues in this section; for example to symbolise the laxity of the transition between ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ of houses in Valencian orchards, there is a curtain which you can step in and out of to view the house. After ascending stairs to reach the dry land and mountain section of the exhibition, another metaphor for the physical landscape differences, you can discover more about the realities of Valencian territories which are not well known such as the industrial cities, migration or exploitation of natural resources.

L’ETNO weaves in temporary micro-exhibitions throughout the main galleries to engage with the narrative of the permanent exhibitions. Until the 15th of September, you can witness a dedication to the urban graffiti of Valencia in ‘love on the outskirts’ which can be found amongst The City: Local and Global. ‘Paellas and Cars’ is another micro exhibition showing a photographic series of Paella by Ricardo Cases, and is on until the end of the year.

Upcoming events at L’ETNO are concerned with sustainability. From the 29th of May, “Sustainability. Museus km 0″ is a collective exhibition which will be available to visit for free. On the 6th and 7th of June, ‘Sustainability, museums and cultural heritage conferences: culture, an essential pillar’ will demonstrate the need to incorporate culture in sustainable development goals, and on the role of museums and heritage in promoting sustainability.

L’ETNO will also hold a variety of free concerts in June 2024 during their festival ‘Ethnomusic.’ The festival, which has been running for over 20 years, will include performers such as La María, Mayalde, El Nido and Eixa.

Report by Polly Watton 

Article copyright ’24/7 Valencia’  

Photos copyright Polly Watton/ ’24/7 Valencia’



Carrer de la Corona, 36

46003 València

Valencia, Spain

Tel: +34 963 883 614

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