The challenges faced by Malaysian Museums

The Star, 22 May 2017: Probably applicable to many other museums in the region and the world – making museums relevant and attractive to people today.

IT IS educational; a way of providing an interactive bridge to the past; a significant tourist attraction.

Source: Challenging times for houses of history – Community | The Star Online

Rock Art exhibition at Indonesia’s National Gallery

Jakarta Globe, 03 May 2017

National Gallery of Indonesia holds a rock art exhibition called “Wimba Kala” at the National Gallery of Indonesia in Central Jakarta until May 15.

Source: National Gallery Exhibition Reinterprets Indonesia’s Rock Art | Jakarta Globe

Augmented Reality Gets Real at National Museum

The UrbanWire, 22 April 2017 The National Museum of Singapore experiments with augmented reality exhibits.

Augmented reality at the National Museum of Singapore, UrbanWire
Using Google’s latest augmented reality (AR) technology, the National Museum of Singapore’s new addition, the Tango-enabled Architectural Tour, brings the legacy and history of the building to life.

Using indoor mapping, virtual reality and AR technology, visitors will be able to explore how the building has evolved over the past 130 years and virtually view artefacts that were once on display in the museum.

Source: Augmented Reality Gets Real at National Museum  – The UrbanWire

Sri Lanka National Museum launches app for visitors

App launched in conjunction with the reopening of the National Museum in Colombo. It’s on Google Play here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.arimaclanka.icta.museum&hl=en

The solution developed for the Sri Lanka Museums has the following functionalities:
o Multi-lingual content base (Sinhala, English, Tamil) – Records and integrates the voice description of artifacts, as well as text contents of various museums in Sri Lanka with the native mobile applications. Recorded voice descriptions are played once the user enters the item code or scans the QR maker.
o Geo Location Based Augmented Reality – a module to locate the galleries based on the geo location of the visitor.
o Indoor Positioning System – Marker based (Fiducial) indoor positioning system in order that users may know the exact location they are at, thus being able to route their location accordingly.
o Social Media – Social media is integrated with the applications in order that visitors may share their experience.

Source: ICTA & National Museum launch Sri Lanka museums mobile app – Lanka Business Online

Cambodian National Museum price hike delayed

Price hike to be delayed until July to give the tourist industry time to adjust.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance has agreed to delay scheduled entry fee increases at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the National Museum until July, in response to complaints from businesses that cater to tourists.

Source: Hike in Tuol Sleng and National Museum ticket prices held off until July, National, Phnom Penh Post

Stolen Buriram lintel believed found in San Francisco

A lintel that was stolen from an Angkorian temple in Thailand’s Buriram province is believed to be found in a museum at San Francisco.

Lintel believed to be stolen from Buriram province. Source: Bangkok Post 20160804
Lintel believed to be stolen from Buriram province. Source: Bangkok Post 20160804

Priceless Buri Ram lintel found in San Francisco
Bangkok Post, 04 August 2016

A Buri Ram-based conservation group has kick-started a campaign to press for the return of a “lintel”, a decorative object above a gate, believed to have been smuggled out of Thailand decades ago.

Tanongsak Harnwong, leader of Samnuek 300 Ong conservation group, said the pre-Angkorean lintel, which was made of white sandstone in the Kleang-Baphuon style and featured Lord Yama, or the god of death, surrounded by flowers, was on exhibition at the Chong Moon Lee museum in San Francisco. It was believed to have been stolen from Nong Hong temple in Buri Ram’s Non Dindaeng district some 50 years ago.

He said the group obtained a photo of the lintel and compared it with one taken by the late archaeologist Manit Vallibhotama, who took the photo of the famous Vishnu reclining on the Serpent Ananta lintel at Phanom Rung sanctuary, and found the two were identical. “They look like the same item,” said the businessman-turned-conservationist who was involved in the restoration of Nong Hong temple in 2002-2003.

Full story here.

Free entry in the National Museum of the Philippines

As of 1 July, admission to the National Museum of the Philippines is free for all nationalities.

Entrance to the National Museum now ‘permanently’ free
Rappler, 30 June 2016

National Museum admission now free – permanently
Philippine News Agency, via Interaksyon, 01 July 2016

– It’s been a day of new beginnings as the nation’s new leaders assumed of office on June 30, Thursday, but in addition to the good vibes, the National Museum has announced that entrance is “permanently free of charge for all visitors, Filipino or foreign, to its museums nationwide.

The Board of Trustees of the National Museum is implementing a new policy, effective by July 1, “in order to build upon signi涁ㄗcant spikes in viewership, especially among younger Filipinos, that have been observed in 2013-2015 and to date in 2016,” it said in a Facebook post

Full story here.

New book on Battambang Museum collection aimed at preventing sale of stolen statues

The Cambodian Museum of Culture has just published a book of stolen antiquities from the Battambang museum, a move which will likely assist in the future repatriation of artefacts if they show up in the art market.

Images from the Wat Po Veal museum. Source: Cambodia Daily 20160607
Images from the Wat Po Veal museum. Source: Cambodia Daily 20160607

With New Book, Quest to Recover Stolen Battambang Statues Begins
Cambodia Daily, 07 June 2016

The Ministry of Culture released a book on Monday of about 68 Khmer sculptures that were stolen from museums in Battambang City during decades of war and conflict, and intends to use the publication in a global search to recover the artifacts.

The result of a painstaking investigation by a restoration team from the National Museum assisted by the French School of the Far East (EFEO), the book proves that, until the early 1970s, the sculptures were at the Battambang Provincial Museum or the Wat Po Veal Museum.

“We want, first of all, to alert the owners of these pieces that what they have is illegally owned: This belongs to the national inventory of Cambodia,” said Anne Lemaistre, country representative for Unesco, which supported the book project.

Full story here.

North Korean Angkor museum sees few visitors

The North Korean Angkor Panorama Museum opened last December but is not receiving many visitors. Could it be because at $15, one might as well pay a little bit more and see the actual ruins a few minutes down the road?

Angkor Panorama Museum. Source: NZ Herald 20160602
Angkor Panorama Museum. Source: NZ Herald 20160602

Few visit North Korea-funded Cambodian museum [Link no longer active]
AP, via NZ Herald, 02 June 2016

A North Korean-funded panorama museum in the cultural hub of Siem Reap is getting few visitors.

The Angkor Panorama Museum, reported to have cost US$24 million ($35.2 million) to build, is just minutes away from the historic Angkor Wat temple complex, which receives millions of tourists each year according to Apsara Authority, the government agency responsible for the archaeological site.

However, on Monday there were few visitors to be seen, while museum director Yit Chandaroat admitted the tourist attraction was yet to pull in large crowds since its opening in December.

North Korea’s Angkor Panorama Museum

Another article about the new Angkor Panorama Museum and North Korea’s deep ties with Cambodia.

Angkor Panorama Museum
Angkor Panorama Museum

North Korea launches charm offensive, exports monumental art to long-time ally Cambodia
AFP, via South China Morning Post, 18 March 2016

In a vast parking lot outside Cambodia’s famed Angkor Wat temples complex stands a new museum built by North Korea, part of a lucrative charm offensive by a hermit state exporting its monumental art to a handful of foreign allies.

“When people come here sometimes they cannot believe their eyes,” said Yit Chandaroat, of the Angkor Panorama Museum, which opened in December after a construction process shrouded in secrecy.

“They really feel like they are back in the time of Angkor,” he added, referring to the world heritage site which comprises the remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, dating from the 9th to the 15th centuries.

Behind him stands the museum’s piece de resistance, an enormous 360-degree panorama that 63 North Korean painters from the state-owned Mansudae Art Studio toiled away on for more than a year. The mural, epic in scale and intricate in detail, covers an area larger than eight tennis courts and reflects the sweeping grandiosity for which Pyongyang’s artists are renowned.

Full story here.