Musing through the Museums

Prasanth Aby Thomas
Published: May 2016

Everyone has a reason to travel. Some do it to see different cultures, others do it to relax and get away from their everyday life. Then there are people who travel to see history. In this issue we look at something that might interest this third kind of people – some of the best museums in the world.

musuem It is said that to have a great future, one must never forget the past. And there is nothing like a museum to let one remember the past. Museums have always been a passion for modern man, from children to old, leisure travellers to historians and academicians. These treasure troves of memories have always brought people together.   There are different kinds of museums, and they come in different sizes, different focus subjects etc. It’s a bit unfair to judge them and bring together this list of top museums to visit, but lists are an inevitable result of modern technology-influenced life.

1

SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION,Washington DC

smithsoniam smith-attIf American history is what you are interested in, there is no other place like The Smithsonian. Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world’s biggest museum and research complex, with 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and nine research centres. More than 137 million artifacts related to America’s history are preserved here, so you’d be better off coming ready for a long week of walking. There’s so much to see that, if you spent one minute day and night looking at each object on exhibit, in ten years you’d see only ten percent of the whole. Hence, it would be better to go with a plan. Decide what you are most interested in and go for only one or two exhibits at two or three separate museums.

2

THE ACROPOLIS MUSUEM, Athens, Greece

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Perhaps no culture can claim a spot in history like the Greek. Although the country’s economy might seem to be in shatters now, it once held a glorious civilization, more advanced and enlightened than its contemporaries.

The Acropolis Museum is an archaeological museum concentrated on the conclusions of the archaeological spot of the Acropolis of Athens. The institution was constructed to stock each object discovered on the rock and on its feet, from the Greek Bronze Age to Roman and Byzantine Greece.

It also falls on the archaeological site of Makrygianni and the remains of a part of Roman and early Byzantine Athens.

The museum was established in 2003, while the Organisation of the Museum was established in 2008. It was unveiled to the public on June 20, 2009. Nearly 4,000 items are displayed over an area of 14,000 square metres.

athens-qThe spectacular ground floor gallery holds discoveries from the slopes of the Acropolis. Its astonishing see-through glass floor offers a stroll over history, with a view of the archaeological excavation, while leaning upward to the Acropolis, with sanctuaries of the Athenians from each historic era nigh. Minor settlements have also been excavated and are on display, providing sights of Athenian life.

They bring a fresh perspective to the history, as the exhibits in the Archaic Gallery let visitors take in all sides of the objects, which are displayed in open spaces characterized by changing natural light.

3

LE LOUVRE,Paris, France

louvre Much has already been written about this exciting place. Several books, from fiction to nonfiction have touched upon the mysteries hidden in the artefacts maintained here. The Louvre was a fortress in the middle ages and then palace for the rulers of France before it was converted to a museum about two centuries ago. paris-qToday this place is known for its iconic glass pyramid that stands as the entry, but not known to many people is that the addition of the pyramid had scandalised many when it was revealed in 1989 as a new main entrance. However, since then it has become an inevitable part of the museum, making it an attraction in itself and integrating the palace’s spread-out parts. The museum’s exhibits, which range from antiquity to the first half of the 19th century, are some of the most treasured in the world. If you are planning to visit, a good place to begin the trip is the Sully Wing, which are the foundations of the French King Philippe-Auguste’s medieval keep. It is at the centre of the Louvre, and an exciting place to begin. From there you can move straight to the Egyptian rooms.