Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Bored and tired of being stuck at home? Thanks to Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), you can take online virtual tours of some of Mexico's most popular museums and cultural institutions from the comfort of your couch.
Mexico's museums culture is truly impressive, and there are reportedly over 150 quirky, specialized and general interest options in the capital alone, putting it on a par with international destinations like New York, London and Paris. However, the rest of Mexico also has a huge amount to offer the museum enthusiast, history lover or art aficionado. Here are 6 museums you can visit without leaving home.
Museo Nacional de Antropología: The most important cultural museum in the country, the National Anthropology Museum is Mexico's answer to the Smithsonian or the British Museum. When it is open, you'll need at least two days to see everything on display in its 22 exhibition halls. The virtual tours focus on the rooms that house the museums' most popular art works, in particular its pre-Hispanic and regional ethnographic collections. Visit the website to see some of the works on display. (Adobe Flash Player required.)
Palacio de Bellas Artes: inaugurated in 1934 as the Museum of Plastic Arts, Mexico's Palace of Fine Arts is considered the country's premier cultural center, and was recognized by UNESCO as an artistic monument in 1987. In addition to hosting music, dance, theater, opera and literature events on a regular basis, the Palacio de Bellas Artes also houses 17 murals by some of Mexico's most recognized artists, including Diego Rivera, Manuel Rodríguez Lozano, Roberto Montenegro, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Rufino Tamayo and Jorge González Camarena. The museum also houses some other notable painting, sculpture and photography exhibits, which you can see on this virtual tour.
Museo de Arte Moderno: Located in Mexico City's Chapultepec park, the Museum of Modern Art is part of the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura. Founded in 1964 on the initiative of President Adolfo López Mateos with the aim of preserving and disseminating Mexican art from the 1930s, the Museum has 4 rooms and three galleries featuring pieces by national and international artists such as Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Emir Jair, Roberto Montenegro, José Clemente Orozco, Louis Henri Jean Charlot, Juan Soriano and Juan O'Gorman, along with a sculpture garden. Click HERE to see some of the works on display.
Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca: Located in the former Santo Domingo church and monastery of Oaxaca city, the Museum of the Cultures of Oaxaca is dedicated to the history of the state, with many original artifacts from the pre-Hispanic period up through the Mexican Revolution. It also has collections dedicated to documenting the various indigenous cultures that have a very strong influence on the state's identity. Visit the INAH website to see some of the works on display. (Adobe Flash Player required.)
Museo Maya: One of INAH's newest museums, the Maya Museum opened in Cancún in 2012. The building, with it's avant-garde design inspired by Mayan building columns from the 8th to 16th centuries, houses archaeological collections of one of the most significant culture of the country. The lobby holds modern artworks, while the interior contains artifacts from excavations in Quintana Roo, as well as in the rest of the Mexican states that cover the Maya area: Tabasco, Yucatan, Campeche and Chiapas. Click HERE to see some of the works on display. (Adobe Flash Player required.)
Museo de las Culturas del Norte: In 1996, the Museum of Northern Cultures, designed by the architect Mario Shetjnan, opened its doors to show its collection, which houses one of the most beautiful archaeological collections of Ancient Mexico. This collection was recovered from the excavations of Paquimé and other archaeological sites of the region known as the Great Chichimeca (Northern Mexico and the Southwest of the United States). The museum, located in Chihuahua, was declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 1998 because it preserves unique pieces of its kind. Visit the INAH website to see some of the works on display. (Adobe Flash Player required.)
These are just a few of the 56 virtual museum tours that you can take via the INAH's portal. Many of them are from its flagship National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, but there are others from regional museums and archaeological sites in various parts of the country that are definitely worth visiting.
Sources: Mexicanist • Mexico News Daily