One of the outstanding elements of the MNAT project is its programme of temporary exhibitions. They are organised with the firm conviction of the important dissemination potential they have as an interpretation and communication technique closely linked to the museum's overall project. Particularly important among its objectives is the desire to disseminate knowledge of Tarraco and to update it continuously based on scientific advances and new knowledge as it becomes available. Another aim is to invite today's society to reflect on the past that could be of interest to it, in the conviction that it is necessary to build bridges between the way we look at the past and the strictly contemporary view.
Begun in 1982 and developed from 1987, its programming is based on different thematic lines. The museum's collections. The contrast between antiquity/contemporaneity with the objective of approaching the concept of history from a contemporary perspective. Monuments within reach. Tributes to key figures and their work in the archaeology and historiography of Tarragona. Reflections, to interrogate and provoke visitors through heritage and history. Archaeology/photography, as an approach to archaeology based on historic photography or the contemporary view. Shared memory. The museums invited to the MNAT. Other cultures, not present in the MNAT discourse.
With these premises and thematic lines, the museum approaches aspects that are difficult to include in the permanent exhibitions of its different branches or that contribute a different point of view, facilitating an innovative presentation on a conceptual and formal level of the historical and archaeological objects, and, at the same time, offering diverse readings and bringing them to the attention of modern society.
The temporary exhibition programme is also a tool for disseminating the content and objectives of the different archaeological sites and monuments in the care of the National Archaeological Museum of Tarragona, through itinerant exhibitions of some of the projects, as well as exchanges and joint projects with other institutions.