There are good facts about this museum. First and foremost the technology they are using is impressive,except for the audio guide there are showcases which wait for your touch to light up and display the description of the artifacts,interactive books which display their content after the page is turned and many audio-visual descriptions. The welcome video is very moving, people from all over the world greeting each other and the guest in their language, I couldn't get enough of it. Also the personnel is very helpful, excluding the man in the audioguide desk which speaks very little English and gets rude when you ask him questions (although it was not my fault he gave me the wrong audio guide...) And that's about it.
The main subject of this museum is supposed to be anti-racism, displaying objects and aspects of everyday life in the former European colonies,together with the stories of the discoveries/exploitation of those lands. First and foremost,it goes wayyyyy on about the discoverers,how they got tattoos,how were their houses decorated etc etc. Why would anybody be interested in such details? "here is the basin that dr. Oppenheimer used when shaving...." Seriously???
When we leave dr. Oppenheimer's lavishly decorated salon,we are placed in a big white room which shows videos describing how coloured peoplebwhere considered dangerous and/or contaminated,and how they were exploited and how that is wrong and so on. Those descriptions however are done in such an intense tone that they border on racism towards Europeans. As a European I didn't enjoy that very much. I like to believe that those where mistaken opinions of the past and to move on, not have someone throw them in my face. I am fully aware that our separate societies can't be considered 100 percent racism-free, but my main argument is this : even if there are such narrow minded people they will never visit such a museum to have their narrow-mindedness thrown in their faces. For the more understanding people like me however, this museum was mostly a live repetition of the things/stories/utensils that I had already seen in encyclopedias.
My third and final argument about this museum is that the showcases are DISTURBING! And it gets worse room by room! Voodoo dolls, hideous headdresses, the ugliest statues I had ever seen, videos of wailing during funerals and live making of mummies??? Shouldn't someone have put these in the description??? I don't have a very thick stomach and frankly, I left disturbed, to put it mildly.
Last but not least, in the description it is mentioned that 1-2 hours are needed to see everything. Normally that would be the case, however, the audio guide goes on and on about every showcase for around 4 minutes and there are approximately 100 showcases. Adding the videos and the in-wall audio descriptions,one might as well need 3-4 hours to see and hear everything as detailed as it's supposed to be. Needless to say, the endless rambling of the audioguide bothered me so much I hardly used it...
Summarizing the above, I think this would be a hit museum some 30-40 years earlier but for 2014 I think it's a bit outdated and blah, technology aside. Also fair warning, it is NOT pretty. I wouldn't rate it an experience I would have liked to have skipped, but it wasn't pleasant either.
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