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International Museum Day: Around the world in 10 tours

Updated on: 18 May,2024 09:33 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Nandini Varma |

Today, on International Museum Day, take a virtual tour to marvel at rare exhibits and displays at these globally acclaimed museums

International Museum Day: Around the world in 10 tours

An exhibit at the Phansi Museum in Durban. Pics Courtesy.Wikimedia Commons

The Identity Installations at Phansi Museum, Durban

Founded by architect and activist Paul Mikula, this museum houses a collection of traditional craftworks as well as artefacts like pots, spoons, platters, headrests, beaded clothes and accessories that mark important developments among indigenous communities of South Africa. The most fascinating of them are the skirts and aprons of Nguni women; each colour, pattern, and shape holds a meaning denoting a stage in the wearer’s life.
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Appearances Can Be Deceiving Exhibition at the Frida Kahlo Museum, Mexico

Frida Kahlo’s wheelchair exhibited at the museum in MexicoFrida Kahlo’s wheelchair exhibited at the museum in Mexico

The exhibition curated by Circe Henestrosa takes visitors across the wardrobe of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. It shows Kahlo’s hand-painted as well as plaster corsets, her jewellery, custom-made shoes, wooden crutches, jar of bandages, back support. It throws light on her personal choices and political beliefs, and opens dialogue on body, clothing, and disability. Couple this with a tour around her home, Casa Azul.
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Furusiyya Exhibition at the Louvre Abu Dhabi

Inside Louvre Abu Dhabi Inside Louvre Abu Dhabi 

Spanning between the fifth and 15th centuries, the Middle Ages come under spotlight here. The exhibition compares the culturally social elites of the East and the West. For instance, a seal shows the Persian and the Roman emperors in combat. We also get a detailed view of the armour of the knights. Books and art on display depict a transfer of knowledge and ideas between the Islamic East (the Levant, Central Asia, Near East and Middle East) and the cultures in the west (like those of the French, English, and Germanic kingdoms).
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Future Memory Tour at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Japan

A broken watch marking the time of the 1945 bombings showcased at the museumA broken watch marking the time of the 1945 bombings showcased at the museum

This tour presents a walk through the corridors that hold memories of a broken Japan, in the form of testimonies of survivors and remains like clothes, shoes, etc., patches from the 1945 atomic bombing in Hiroshima. Each story is heartbreaking. One display, for instance, shows a caught shadow of a person, who had been sitting on the steps outside the Hiroshima Branch of Sumitomo Bank, possibly waiting for it to open when the bomb ended it all.
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Veiled Rebecca tour at the Salar Jung Museum, India 

Veiled Rebecca at the Salar Jung MuseumVeiled Rebecca at the Salar Jung Museum

It is best known for the marble statue Veiled Rebecca acquired by Salar Jung III. A tour takes us around neoclassical sculptor Giovanni Maria Benzoni’s Rebecca, standing in her skilfully sculpted translucent attire, which looks so delicate, as though it were made of a light cloth, not stone. Several other masterpieces from around the world preserved by the Salar Jung family can be found here. 
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Maple Viewers at the Tokyo National Museum, Japan

Tokyo National Musem Tokyo National Musem 

The museum consists of a number of national treasures and houses perhaps one of the largest collections of art objects from Japan. One such marvel is the Maple Viewing at Takao painting, a guided close-up of which points enthusiasts to its details: the arrival of winter, a cup of matcha tea for a penny, children relaxing by the Kiyotaki river, the flautists, the Buddhist monks, a sake party. It was painted by the artist 
Kanô Hideyori.
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The Listies’ Guide to the Melbourne Museum, Australia

A Triceratops fossil at the Melbourne MuseumA Triceratops fossil at the Melbourne Museum

This is a funny, quirky, and fantastic tour inside the museum. Beginning with a basic map, Matt and Rich, the listies, take us around the Blue Whale skeleton and the dinosaur skeletons, sharing information like when they lived, what they ate, etc. We then head to see other fascinating creatures like the bugs, the diprotodon displays, bowers and eels, along with the 
colourful sandstones.
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Stories in Light Exhibition at National Gallery, Singapore

In the 1950s, photography was being recognised as an independent art form in Singapore, where photographers began using the camera to imagine a new landscape and identity for the country after the Second World War. The exhibition, Stories in Light, introduces us to four modern photographers who played an important role in this development, carrying an intent to show the urban changes but retaining the freedom to experiment artistically.
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The Frans Hals Tour at Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

This is the national museum of The Netherlands, which is dedicated to Dutch masters like Frans Hals. An audio tour of his work and life introduces the artist as the first in the country to use “free and loose brushwork”. His quick and deft strokes added fluidity and life to his paintings. It made them seem almost like photographs. Look out for the renaissance elbow poses and the Rommelpot player.
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American Fashions from 1740 to 1895, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

The Index of American Design collection here is worth checking out. It contains renderings of objects from the colonial period until 1900s. These include sketches of fine dresses with lace trims and ruffles, silk shoes with brocade work, silk waistcoat for men — each marking interesting developments in American society. 
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Celebrate in the city

. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
Explore the museum in a walkthrough of ongoing exhibitions including Ancient Sculptures: India Egypt Assyria Greece Rome, or take your pick from seven hands-on educational workshops.
TIME 11 am onwards AT Kala Ghoda, Fort. Entry R35 (children); R150 (adults) (museum tickets apply)

. Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum
Join a guided walkthrough of F Baltazard Solvyns’ People of Bengal: Coloured Etchings. In a separate workshop inspired by the same exhibition, learn about the science behind music and how waves travel from scientist Vinod Kumar Sonawane.
TIME 11 am onwards AT Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Road, Byculla East. LOG ON TO @bdlmuseum

Also check out 
. Dali Theatre and Museum
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. Sistine Chapel at Vatican
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. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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