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Top 10 Museums in The World

For those who appreciate history and art, and love to travel, here is a list of 10 of the greatest museums worth paying a visit. These museums have amassed a vast collection of magnificent paintings pre-historic relics and artefacts from ancient civilizations such as Greece, Rome, Egypt, and many more.

See the list below

1. The Louvre in Paris

The Louvre or the Louvre Museum, is the world’s largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. It is the world’s most-visited art museum, with a collection that spans work from ancient civilizations to the mid-19th century. The museum is housed in part of a large palace in Paris that was built on the right-bank site of the 12th-century fortress of Philip Augustus. Approximately 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 72,735 square metres. 

The museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being royal and confiscated church property. Today, the collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings.

2. The State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg

The State Hermitage Museum is a museum of art and culture located in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The museum was founded in 1764 when Empress Catherine the Great acquired an impressive collection of paintings from the Berlin merchant Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky.

Its collections, of which only a small part is on permanent display, comprise over three million items, including the largest collection of paintings in the world. The collections occupy a large complex of six historic buildings along Palace Embankment, including the Winter Palace, a former residence of Russian emperors. The State Hermitage Museum is the second-largest art museum in the world and has been open to the public since 1852.

3. The British Museum in London

The British Museum is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture. It was established in 1753 but was first opened to the public in 1759. The museum houses around eight million works which is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence. Most of its collections were widely sourced during the era of the British Empire. It documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. It was the first public national museum in the world.

The museum continues to face international controversies over its ownership of some famous objects which originally originated from other countries. Examples of some of these disputed objects include the Parthenon Marbles, Edo bronze, among others.

4. Egyptian Museum in Cairo

The Egyptian Museum or the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, in Cairo, Egypt, is home to an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities. The museum was built in 1901 by the Italian construction company Garozzo-Zaffarani, and it is one of the largest museums in the region. As of March 2019, the museum is open to the public. In 2020 the museum is due to be superseded by the new Grand Egyptian Museum at Giza.

5. Uffizi Galarry museum in Florence

The Uffizi Gallery is a prominent art museum located in the Historic Centre of Florence in the region of Tuscany, Italy, and it is one of the first modern museums. One of the most important Italian museums and the most visited, it is also one of the largest and best known in the world and holds a collection of priceless works, particularly from the period of the Italian Renaissance.

The gallery had been open to visitors by request since the sixteenth century, and in 1765 it was officially opened to the public, formally becoming a museum in 1865. The Uffizi is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Florence and one of the most visited art museums in the world.

6. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York

The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City, colloquially “the Met“, is one of the world’s largest and finest art museums. The Met was founded in 1870 for the purposes of opening a museum to bring art and art education to the American people. With almost 7 million visitors to its three locations in 2018, it was the third most visited art museum in the world. Its permanent collection of over two million works consists of works of art from classical antiquity and ancient Egypt, paintings, and sculptures from nearly all the European masters. The Met also maintains extensive holdings of African, Asian, Oceanian, Byzantine, and Islamic art.

7. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in Ney York

The Museum of Modern Art  is an art museum located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. MoMA is often identified as one of the largest and most influential museums of modern art in the world. MoMA’s collection offers an overview of modern and contemporary art, including works of architecture and design, drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, prints, illustrated books and artist’s books, film, and electronic media.

More so, the MoMA Library includes approximately 300,000 books and exhibition catalogs, and its archives holds primary source material related to the history of modern and contemporary art.

8. The Vatican Museums in Rome

The Vatican Museums are Christian art museums located within the city boundaries of the Vatican City, and founded by Pope Julius II in the early 16th century. They display works from the immense collection amassed by popes throughout the centuries including several of the most renowned Roman sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world. The museums contain roughly 70,000 works, of which 20,000 are on display. In 2017, they were visited by 6 million people, which combined makes it the 4th most visited art museum in the world.

9. The Prado Museum in Madrid

The Prado Museum, officially known as Museo Nacional del Prado, is the main Spanish national art museum, located in central Madrid. The museum was originally founded as a museum of paintings and sculpture in 1819, but It is now widely considered to have one of the world’s finest collections of European art, dating from the 12th century to the early 20th century, and the single best collection of Spanish art. El Prado is one of the most visited sites in the world, and it is considered one of the greatest art museums in the world.

The collection currently comprises around 8,200 drawings, 7,600 paintings, 4,800 prints, and 1,000 sculptures, in addition to a large number of other works of art and historic documents.

10. The National Archaeological Museum of Athens

The National Archaeological Museum of Athens is the largest archaeological museum in Greece and one of the most important museums in the world devoted to ancient Greek art. It was founded at the end of the 19th century to house and protect antiquities from all over Greece, thus displaying their historical, cultural and artistic value. The initial name for the museum was The Central Museum. It was renamed to its current name in 1881 by Prime Minister of Greece Charilaos Trikoupis.

Written by Emeka Nweze

Content writer and contributor.

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