Dedicated to fine arts, the Musée Rath welcomes temporary exhibitions of Swiss and international art and of archaeology from the Musée d’art et d’histoire. This prestigious cultural institution symbolises the interest of Genevans for the arts. Next to the Grand Théâtre and the Conservatoire on Place Neuve, the Musée Rath opened to the public in 1826 thanks to the generosity of the Rath sisters. It was the first fine art museum in Switzerland, designed from the outset as a temple to the Muses, for exhibiting works. The Musée Rath closed down between 1916 and 1919 because of World War I and was transformed into the International Prisoners of War Agency set up by the Red Cross.