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Explore a “Museum” tour

Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Festival and Culture | 0 comments

Whatever your interest, there is probably a museum devoted to it. Nguyen Duy Duc takes us on a virtual tour of some of the world’s countless museums

The English word museum” comes from the Greek and refers to a temple to the mythical Muses, where scholars studied art. The Greek philosopher and astronomer Ptolemee established an art research center in Alexandria in 208 B.C. Centuries before the start of the Christian era there were museums in Athens.

toilet-museum-india

Later, the concept of a museum was expanded to include spaces containing art collections owned by private individuals. The owner would decide who could or could not enter.

Museums that were officially open to the public appeared during the Renaissance. In 1471 Pope Sixtus IV presented an impressive collection of sculptures to the people of Rome. But it wasn’t until the middle as well as upper classes were allowed to enter museums in the 1600s that museums became hugely popular. In Europe at the end of 17th and beginning of the 18th century, some museums were so popular that people had to buy tickets weeks in advance.

Nowadays, even small towns boast a museum or two. Whether visitors love art, military history or virtually any topic imaginable, there is a museum devoted to their interest. Museums offer entertainment and information, programs devoted to art and culture, and souvenirs and books that can’t be found in regular tourist shops.

Join the queue

While many countries try and fail to attract one million foreign tourists per year, some museums located in the world’s most popular tourist destinations attract as many as two million visitors per year. Worldwide, 42 museums attract more than one million visitors each year. Leading the pack is the Louvre in Paris, France.

louvre-museum-France
Home to the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo, over the last three years the Louvre lured 8.5 million visitors through its doors. Other highly popular museums include the British Museum (UK), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA), the Centre Pompidou (France), the Museo Nacional del Prado (Spain) and the National Museum of Korea (South Korea) or a robust harbor city-Bruges – the “Belgian Venice

Weird and wonderful

The human imagination is limitless, as revealed by the world’s strangest museums. If you’re looking for oddities head to France, where 1,000 of the country’s 10,000 registered museums are classified as “strange”. Would you like to visit a museum devoted to snails, broken crockery or deformities? Perhaps a hearse museum might be more to your liking, or else a museum packed with sewer caps.

british-museum-london

Belgium, meanwhile, is home to a museum devoted to underwear. Germany, not surprisingly, has a sausage museum. In Thailand you’ll find a condom museum and an opium museum. India, meanwhile, has a museum devoted to toilets.

While some museums focus on specific objects, others focus on a single concept or event. In Croatia there’s a museum that seeks to explain the regions ethnic conflict. There’s a museum in the United States that examines the assassination of President Kennedy. Another American museum is devoted to ventriloquists. Japan, meanwhile, is home to a museum devoted to parasites that plague humans. Less deadly, but perhaps more poignant, is the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, Croatia.

Here, visitors will find mementos from failed relationships with brief notes about the objects’ significance and what went wrong.

Have you visited a museum lately? If not, what are you waiting for?

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