Malacca to host Zheng He seminar in July

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A seminar of Admiral Zheng He’s (Cheng Ho) voyages to Malacca and beyond will be held in the Malaysian state of Malacca in July. The seminar is organised by the Melaka Museums Corporation, the Malaysian Museums Department, the Malaysian Museums Department, the International Zheng He Society and the Cheng Ho Cultural Museum.

Admiral Zheng He
photo credit: hathu-

Seminar To Mark Cheng Ho’s Voyage To Melaka
Bernama, 11 May 2010
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Muzium Negara renovation update

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09 August 2007 (New Straits Times) – Earlier this year, the national museum of Malaysia (Muzium Negara) announced that it was going through renovations. The NST posts an update on the renovations, with some completions to be done in time for the Malaysian independence day on August 31.

Muzium Negara aims for ‘class’ upgrade

With Visit Malaysia Year in full swing, one would expect the country’s main attractions to be operating at their best. Muzium Negara, however, is in the midst of renovations. It seems that the renovations are unavoidable as the National Museums Department does not want the museum to be perceived as a “third-class” establishment.

“Muzium Negara is the main museum of the country. This renovation is needed so that it will be on par with other museums in the world as well as be a model museum in Malaysia,” said the department’s deputy director-general Paiman Keromo.

The renovation started in June last year after the department received a RM20 million allocation under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

External work to the museum, such as building a walkway around the museum, re-organising the external exhibits and building an outdoor stage, began two months ago.

“So far, the renovation is on schedule and it doesn’t interrupt the current exhibitions,” Paiman said.

Since the renovations started, the first floor containing Galleries C and D had been closed, while Galleries A and B on the ground floor are open to the public.

Galleries C and D used to showcase Malaysian flora and fauna.

These artifacts are in Muzium Negara’s repository and can be visited by the public by obtaining permission.

Sixty per cent of the renovations, including the external works, will be completed by Aug 18.

On the same day, Galleries C and D, which will feature events from the Malacca Sultanate until the country’s independence, will be reopened to the public.

“We will reopen the two galleries on Aug 18 as the 50th Merdeka celebrations will be launched the night before in Malacca,” said Paiman.

Read the full story on the Muzium Negara’s renovations.

Museum guidebooks featuring the Muzium Negara:
Museum Treasures of Southeast Asia by B. Campell
Museums Of Southeast Asia by I. Lenzi
Extraordinary Museums of Southeast Asia by K. Kelly

Trading treasures

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22 July 2006 (The Star) – This is an interesting piece, that on the face looks like the sale of archaeological material. A jewelry company in partnership with a marine archaeological firm takes the small, “unsexy” bits of pottery sherds and makes them into designer earrings and necklaces. The proceeds from the sale go on to fund future archaeological expeditions. I think purists will howl at the idea of “sherds-for-sale”, but on the other hand, it’s an interesting business model for keeping an independent archaeological investigation company (of which I think there are pitifully few in SEA) afloat.

The Star, 22 July 2006

Trading Treasures

Justine Vaz and Ben Rongen of Tradewind Treasures are selling pendants, brooches, rings and bracelets consisting of blue and white 17th Century Ming and 19th Century Qing porcelain shards set in silver.

Tradewind Treasures works with Nanhai Marine Archaeology Sdn Bhd, a company working closely with the Malaysian Department of Museums and Antiquities to map, research and excavate shipwreck sites in Malaysian waters.

When wrecks are found, a representative set of any porcelain, pottery and other artifacts are kept by the Malaysian Department of Museums and Antiquities. Remaining items are sold to fund future investigations.

Thanks to Tradewind Treasures, the shards that might have taken a poor second place to items found intact, are now rejoicing in a new career of their own. The range designed exclusively for Eastern Treasures is housed at Aseana Galleria, KLCC.

Related Books:
Shipwrecks and Sunken Treasure in Southeast Asia by T. Wells
Oriental trade ceramics in Southeast Asia, 10th to 16th century: Selected from Australian collections, including the Art Gallery of South Australia and the Bodor Collection by J. Guy
Chinese Celadons and Other Related Wares in Southeast Asia by the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society