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Museums in Peru - Culture And Arts Info. - Peru

Peru's ancient civilization dates back at least as far as Egypt's and matches it for its sophistication and architectural achievements. The Museo de la Nación steers visitors through several millennia worth of history; primarily of conquest, conflict and civilization. The 10,000 year-old legacy of Peru’s oldest known people, the Chavin, comes to life in the displays of large perforated seashells used as horns, or the Chavin equivalent of modern-day bongs, made of bone tubes. Featured are the carved impressions of animals associated with ritual transformation. The Moche civilization, which followed, has permanently preserved its spirit in physical figures, ranging in material from clay and copper to silver and gold, embodying everything from sexual acts to anthropomorphized deities.

Miniature scale models of some of Peru's key archeological sites on three different floors offer perspective of the evolution of pre-colonial Peru in a comprehensible context. You are advised to spend at least three hours taking it all in.

Other museums to browse through while you're there include the Museo de Oro del Perú y Armas del Mundo, literally Peru's Gold Museum and Arms of the World. The latter half of the museum goes beyond Peruvian culture and bespeaks of Miguel Mujica Gallo’s fascination with weapons worldwide. This Peruvian businessman collected armaments across the globe to create the single most impressive assembly of artillery housed under one roof.

Carbines and muskets compete for attention with the other half of the museum, dedicated to the mineral that moved Spain to conquer and control much of the western hemisphere for centuries, permanently Latinizing a continent and a culture. Textiles, silver, semi-precious minerals, and ceramic idols from the Mochica, Chimu and Vicus epochs reverberate as tokens of civilizations that, like all civilizations, have mortal life spans. Included as well is an educational exhibit on metallurgy, highlighting the evolution of the craft.

For the ecologically oriented, the Museum of Natural History Javier Prado, founded in 1918 and affiliated with the San Marcos Universidad Nacional and the Ricardo Palma Museum of Natural History, brings to light Peru's plentiful bio-diversity, both past and present, from sea dinosaur fossils to a vast collection of live amphibians, reptiles, fish, birds and foliage.

Multiple religiously themed museums project the florid classicism of Catholic ecclesiasticism while the Inquisition Museum evokes the darker side of religion. Other sites highlight indigenous craftwork, and for the modern-minded, the Museo de Arte, designed by none other than Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel tower fame), serves as the gateway to Peru’s contemporary art.

Outside of Peru, notable archeology and pre-Colombian museums are can be found in Arequipa, Chiclín, Cusco (also an art museum), Huamachuco, Lurín, Moquegua, Piura, and Trujillo.

Culture and Arts Info., Museums Info., Activity Info.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Peru: Literature In Peru, Art , Arequipa’s Phantoms, Music in Peru, Peruvian Culture, Peruvian Cinema: From Crisis To Opportunity, Yma Sumac - The Pop Life of an Andean Princess and Peru Dance and Theatre.

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