As the meeting-point between Asia, Africa and Europe, the Mediterranean
has a unique history stretching back ten thousand years. No other
region has seen so many different successive civilisations in such
a relatively small area. As birthplace to the three great monotheistic
revealed religions, it was for a long time the centre of the known
The Mediterranean has acted as a crucible for fundamental philosophical
and scientific discoveries. The strong sense of identity characterising
the peoples living around it have often sparked off wars, but the
conflicts it has always experienced have never permanently prevented
people from travelling or ideas from spreading.
Within the region, despite the numerous different influences on
it and the great diversity of its languages and cultures, there
gradually grew up a shared sense of belonging, even though the Mediterraneans
have widely differing images of themselves and their sea.
René Seydoux, who was the inspiration behind the Foundation
named after him, was convinced that the countries around the Mediterranean
had to have a common future, and that it was essential to build
it through dialogue, meetings and exchanges, especially between
True to this outlook, for over twenty years the Foundation has instigated
activities which help break down conceptual barriers between the
two shores and promote a Mediterranean united in its diversity.