NATIONAL MUSEUM, Introduction

Audio File length: 2.16
English / USA Language: English / USA

Hi, my name’s Jill, and I’m your personal guide. Along with MyWoWo, I’d like to welcome you to one of the Wonders of the World: the National Museum, the oldest museum in Singapore, where you can discover the history of the city and the region.

The museum was founded in 1849 by the Singapore Institution Committee, with the name of Raffles Library and Museum, and objects of historical and archeological value from Southeast Asia have exhibited there from the beginning. Following several moves, in 1887, the collection was moved to the current building.

The museum was originally renowned for its zoological and ethnographic collections, from Malaysia and Borneo in particular. After Singapore became independent in 1965, the museum began to focus on the history of Singapore, and was renamed the National Museum. The zoological collections were moved to the Biology Department of the University and to a number of museums abroad, such as the ones in Calcutta in India, or Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

The colonial building that houses the National Museum is one of the most beautiful in the city. Designed in Palladian and Renaissance style, it is composed of two parallel rectangles, with a dome at the front. The building was completely renovated in order to host the new collections, and restored to its original splendor after being badly damaged by previous works.

The National Museum of Singapore was reopened on December 2, 2006, and presents a collection of unique objects, displayed in spectacular fashion, with video installations and interactive panels sure to make your visit truly thrilling.

 

An interesting fact: the building has been restored with the utmost care. The original stained glasses panels in the dome were reconstructed, and the three thousand fish-scaled tiles it is decorated with were removed and cleaned one by one. The wooden doors and window frames were reconstructed using nineteenth-century carpentry techniques, and a glass roof was installed so the dome can also be seen from the inside. The original façade with the coat of arms of Queen Victoria and the colonnade were also entirely reconstructed using traditional techniques.

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