It was well worth the wait. Now called the "Museo del Jade y de la Cultura Precolumbina" sponsored by INS, the national Costa Rican insurance company, reopened at its new permanent location on 8 May in a six-story window-less building constructed solely to house this museum. The new is located across the Plaza de la Democracia from the National Museum. The Jade Museum is modern, greatly expanded and improved from its previous site, visually appealing (forward, backward, above and below) and exceptionally well done. It hit all of our hot buttons. Admission for non-resident adults is $15 and well-worth every penny.
The museum houses the largest collection of pre-Columbian jade jewelry and artifacts in the Americas. Each floor features a different element of pre-Columbian societies, displays ancient jewelry making techniques, pre-Columbian daily life, the importance of shamans and burial rituals, introduces surviving indigenous native tribes, and also displays a large collection of pots, vases, craved stone metates, flutes, pipes and hunting weapons. There's an awful lot to see, but don't give up until you've been to see the thousands of beautifully preserved and decorated pots, vases and jewelry displayed on Level 5 (the sixth and top floor).
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