Gold Museum, Bogotá
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The Museum of Gold (Spanish: El Museo del Oro) is a museum located in Bogotá, Colombia. It is one of the most visited touristic highlights in the country. The museum receives around 500,000 tourists per year.
|Museo del Oro|
View of the Museum of Gold
|Established||22 December 1939|
|Location||Carrera 6 # 15-82
|Director||María Alicia Uribe Villegas|
|Public transit access||Museo del Oro|
The museum displays a selection of pre-Columbian gold and other metal alloys, such as Tumbaga, and contains the largest collection of gold artifacts in the world in its exhibition rooms on the second and third floors. Together with pottery, stone, shell, wood and textile objects, these items, made of what to indigenous cultures was a sacred metal, testify to the life and thought of different societies which inhabited what is now known as Colombia before the conquest of the Spanish.
In 1934, the Bank of the Republic began helping to protect the archaeological patrimony of Colombia. The object known as Poporo Quimbaya was the first one in a collection. It has been on exhibition for 70 years.[when?]
The museum houses the famous Muisca golden raft found in Pasca in 1969, that represents the ceremony of the new zipa (ruler) of Bacatá, the basis for the El Dorado myth. The heir to the chieftaincy assumed power with a great offering to the gods. In this representation he is seen standing at the centre of a raft, surrounded by the principal chieftains, all of them adorned with gold and feathers.
After a decade of work, the museum was expanded and renovated in October 2008. With the renovation, the museum organized the permanent exhibition in five rooms with archaeological objects and an interactive room. It also added an auditorium, some temporary exhibitions rooms, a cafe, a restaurant, and a souvenir store.
The museum has a collection of 55,000 pieces. 6,000 pieces are on display in their expanded building. There are bilingual descriptions of almost all exhibits. On the first floor is the museum's main entrance, the shop and a restaurant, The Gold Museum restaurant and café.
On the second floor the exposition begins. The main room is called "People and Gold in pre-Hispanic Colombia". In glass cases it displays the goldsmith work of the different cultures which inhabited Colombia before the Spanish colonists arrived; the room is divided into different halls for every culture; Calima, Quimbaya, Muisca, Zenú, Tierradentro, San Agustín, Tolima, Tairona and Urabá, and a special room called "After Columbus" (Después de Colón).
The exposition continues on the third floor, with "The Flying Chamanic" and "The Offering". The first shows the process of a shaman ceremony with its different gold pieces, the second is divided into three parts; the "Offering Room", the "Offering Boat", and the "Lake".
At the end of the exposition, there is a "Profunditation Room" with artistic videos about the most important gold pieces of the museum.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Museo del Oro, Bogotá.|
- (in English) Official website
- (in Spanish) Official website
- The Art of Precolumbian Gold: The Jan Mitchell Collection, an exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art (fully available online as PDF), which contains material relevant to holdings at the Gold Museum