Travel Realizations

Celebrating Experiences

Category: Museums Page 1 of 3

Thought Provoking Museums from Around the World

The word museum has its origins in the Ancient Greek word of Mouseion, which denotes a place or temple dedicated to the Muses (the patron divinities in Greek mythology of the arts). The meaning of “museums” has changed considerably over time since they started becoming popular in Europe. Formerly a means to display exotic things collected by wealthy men to their fellow wealthy friends, museums are now open to all people; they are for the enjoyment and enlightenment of all.

The role of museums in society has also evolved a great deal. With the advent of the internet, it is no longer a significant source of historical or factual information presented in a chronological fashion. Rather, the best museums now try to provoke a response in the mind of the audience. How did people live with vastly different means and technologies so far back in time? Were they less happier then? How did people suffer during a war? Do modern wars lead to less pain? How did a technological leap change society? Has it benefitted everybody? The visitor can be forced, even for a few moments, to confront her existence juxtaposed with these conundrums.

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Lynching Memorial in Montgomery – The dark history of America

While standing inside the National Lynching Memorial or the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, in Montgomery, Alabama, I read these death notices.

  • After an overcoat went missing from a hotel in Tifton, Georgia, in 1900, two black men were lynched, whipped to death while being “interrogated” in the woods.
  • Mary Turner was lynched, with her unborn child, at Folsom Bridge at the Brooks-Lowndes County line in Georgia in 1918 for complaining about the recent lynching of her husband, Hayes Turner.
  • William Donegan was lynched in Springfield, illinois, in 1908 for having a white wife.
  • Ernest Green and Charlie Lang, both 14, were lynched in Shubuta, Mississippi, in 1942 after a white girl said they were threatening.

and the list goes on ……

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The story of Diamond in Amsterdam Diamond Museum – A photo essay!

The Amsterdam Diamond Museum has a travel story to tell. About a journey which began three billion years ago, 200 km under the surface of the earth, and which ends in the ring on your finger or in the pendant on your necklace. The hero of this story is the diamond, the hardest material in the world, loveliest of all gemstones. Bon Voyage!

My journey to this fascinating museum began with those beautiful words that I read at the entrance of the Amsterdam Diamond Museum. More than diamond I have always loved the story of its becoming!

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Defending human dignity – An exhibition at the Red Cross Museum in Geneva, Switzerland

The purpose of a museum or an exhibition is not about conveying information (which is a commodity in this information age) but invoking emotion from within, make a basis for reflection and let the visitor grasp the real significance of the situation. The whole idea is to present an experience.  I had one such memorable experience when I entered the permanent exhibition – Defending Human Dignity by Gringo Cardia, a Brazilian graphic designer and an artist  inside the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum in Geneva, Switzerland.

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Travel Realizations, Paintings in Louvre, Paris

Beautiful paintings in the Louvre, Paris – world’s largest museum!

The Louvre is the world’s largest museum. It is located in the city of love, Paris, which is of course the capital of France! It has 35,000 objects on display over an area of 72,735 square meters. On a chilly morning in March, when I entered the Louvre, the world’s second most visited museum, I realized that this is a kind of place where one can immerse oneself in great contemplation while looking at the works of artists who have risen to great heights.

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Travel Realizations, Pearl Harbor

75 years of Pearl Harbor – A testimony of infamy!

The incandescent Sunday morning of 7th December 1941 on the shores of O’ahu started like any other day but ended in despair. The morning stillness was broken by the roar of Japanese aircrafts. It was a surprise military strike by the Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii territory. “Tora! Tora! Tora!” were the Japanese code words that signaled the surprise is complete; The first wave of low flying planes attacked just before 0755 and the second wave struck an hour later. By 0955 the attack was over and so were the lives of thousands. Today, 7th December 2016, exactly 75 years after the attack, I am remembering the day of infamy.

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Death and Life

Death and Life – The famous painting by Gustav Klimt in Leopold Museum, Vienna, Austria

The epitome of truth is death. Our all anxieties, insecurities in life, desires, failures all come to a halt with death. We may philosophize or fantasize death, but there is no denying that no one can ever escape the cold hands of the grim reaper. Poets, painters, musicians or scientists, all express death in many unique ways. One such representation is Gustav Klimt’s Death and Life – a painting which was honored with a first prize at the 1911 International Art Exhibition in Rome. Klimt believed that this was his most important figurative work.

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In front of Olympic Museum

The Olympic flame in the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.

206 nations; 306 events in 28 sports; 11000 participants and one unique flame representing the spirit of all. You got it right. I am talking about the Olympics. Now, when the game is on, some of you might be coming back home to watch your favorite games or athletes in the Olympics, while some of you are tracking the counts for medals for your country and some like me, is loving the whole atmosphere that it creates. The very spirit of togetherness and friendship among nations and fellow athletes even on the stage of the competition is a precious gift of the Olympics, I believe. Beyond winning and losing, it ignites a flame in all to remain fit, healthy and inspires to thrive for one’s best. Today, I would like to tell you my experience of visiting the Olympic Museum (the museum is the largest archive of the Olympic Games in the world) in Lausanne, Switzerland. Beautiful Lausanne is also the headquarter of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

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