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An institution that conserves an assortment of artifacts and other objects of artistic, cultural, historical or scientific significance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or short-term is called a museum. Throughout the world, major cities contain most of the large museums and more local ones are located in smaller cities, towns and even the countryside. From serving researchers and specialists to serving the general community, museums have varying aims. With over 128 museums, Mexico City contains the largest number of museums in the world. There are more than 55,000 museums in 202 countries according to The World Museum Community. Here is a list of most visited museums in the world.
10 Most Visited Museums in the World:
10. National Palace Museum
Located in Taipei, The National Palace Museum has the largest collection of ancient Chinese artifacts and artworks in the world. In 1925, the museum was initially established as the Palace Museum in Beijing’s Forbidden City, shortly after the removal of the last emperor of China. The most valued items in the museum’s collection were moved to Taiwan during the final years of the Chinese Civil War. The communist army had already seized control of the Palace Museum by the time the items arrived in Taiwan.
9. Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Located in Bilbao in Spain, the Guggenheim Museum is designed by Frank Gehry. Possibly the most celebrated building of the 1990s; the museum is spectacular twisting titanium clad modern art museum. The elegant, luxurious curves, reminiscent of the ships that used to be ever-present along the docks of Bilbao, are covered in titanium squares, which bear a resemblance to the scales of a fish and glisten in the sunlight. Permanent and visiting exhibits of works by Spanish and international artists are featured in this most visited museum of the world.
8. Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is located in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. It is often acknowledged as the most influential museum of modern art in the world. Including Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, Monet’s Water Lilies, and van Gogh’s Starry Night the museum arguably contains the best collection of modern masterpieces world-wide.
The building itself is one of the main attractions of MoMA. Arts can be viewed from many angles through a maze of glass walkways. A $425 million face-lift by Yoshio Taniguchi enlarged the exhibition space of the museum by nearly 50% in 2004.
7. Hermitage Museum
Catherine the Great founded the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia in 1764. This popular tourist attraction is a huge museum of art and culture showing the highlights of a collection of over 3 million items spanning the globe. With an impressive setting displaying priceless works by Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Reubens, Michealangelo and more; the Hermitage is truly one of the best museums in the world. The collections reside in a large complex of six historic buildings including the Winter Palace, which is a former residence of Russian emperors.
6. Uffizi Gallery
Located in Florence in Italy, The Uffizi Gallery is one of the oldest and most famous art museums in the world. The museum has a superb collection of Renaissance paintings and sculptures from classical antiquity including The Birth of Venus by SandroBoticelli. Even before the doors open a long line starts at the door often. It is housed in the Palazzo degli Uffizi, which was constructed in the 16th century as the offices for the Florentine magistrates.
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5. British Museum
Located in London, the British Museum is a museum of human history and culture. Established in 1753, it is one of the best museums in the world. Its collections number more than seven million objects. The collections originate from all continents and are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world.
The museum illustrates and documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. Including the largest collection of mummies outside of Egypt, the museum features the Rosetta Stone, the key to the deciphering of the hieroglyphs and many more. It is one of the top destinations in London.
4. Metropolitan Museum of Art
Located on the eastern edge of Central Park in New York City, The Metropolitan Museum of Art is an art museum. One of the best museums in the world, it is also known as The Met. This immense gothic-style building was originally opened in 1872 and numerous expansions added on over time.
There are hundreds of rooms on its two floors that hold more than two million works of art from across human history and around the world, which cover virtually every field of art in existence. The Met organizes and hosts large traveling shows throughout the year in addition to its permanent exhibitions.
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3. Vatican Museums
The Vatican Museums was founded by Pope Julius II in the 6th century. Located inside the Vatican City in Rome, the museums are among the most visited museums in the world. The spiral staircase, the Raphael Rooms and the exquisitely decorated Sistine Chapel made the museums famous. The chapel ceiling was painted by Michelangelo in between 1508 and 1512 under the patronage of Pope Julius II. Today it is widely believed that the ceiling and especially The Last Judgment are Michelangelo’s crowning achievements in painting.
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2. Egyptian Museum
Home to at least 120,000 artifacts of ancient antiquities of Egypt, the Egyptian Museum in Cairo is one of the most visited museums in the world. The museum has two main floors, the ground floor and the first floor. There is an extensive collection of papyrus and coins used by the ancient Egyptians on the ground floor.
There are artifacts from the final two dynasties of Ancient Egypt and also many items taken from the Valley of the Kings on the first floor. Places of interest include the items from the Tomb of Tutankhamen and the Royal Mummy Room containing 27 royal mummies from pharaonic times.
One of the world’s largest and most visited art museums in the world is The Louvre museum in Paris. Opened in 1793, the museum is housed in the Louvre Palace, which is a former royal palace. In 1989, the famous glass pyramid positioned in the main courtyard of the Louvre Palace was added. The glass pyramid serves as the main entrance to the museum.
The exhibits of Louvre come from such diverse origins as ancient Egypt, medieval Europe and Napoleonic France, classical Greece and Rome. Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of the Mona Lisa is of course the most famous exhibits of the museum, which is generally found surrounded by hordes of camera-flashing tourists.
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