Treasures of the World from the British Museum

Get up close and personal with some of the world’s finest artefacts from now until the end of May! For the next six months, 239 exceptional objects and treasures will be on display in the Treasures of the World from the British Museum exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore.

This highly-anticipated exhibition from the British Museum in London encompasses more than two million years of abundant culture and history, and features relics from ancient civilisations and treasures spanning Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe, the Americas and Oceania. The blockbuster exhibition is the largest and most comprehensive show from the British Museum’s collection in Singapore to date, and is a collaboration between the National Museum of Singapore and the British Museum, the oldest public national museum in the world.

The oldest object in the exhibition is a stone handaxe from Tanzania made around 800,000 years ago, while the most recent artefact dates to 2013. Other iconic artefacts from the collection include two 11th-century chess pieces discovered on the Hebridean Island of Lewis, skilfully crafted brass plaques from the West African state of Benin, ancient jewellery from the Royal Cemetery at Ur in southern Iraq, and an exquisitely painted mummy board from ancient Egypt. Each object represents the cultural and artistic achievements of the civilisation it comes from, and collectively, the collection explores the enduring themes of life that connect people across the world, regardless of when or where they live.

Closer to home, the exhibition also includes items collected by Sir Stamford Raffles when he was in Southeast Asia, such as a Javanese mask and a kris and scabbard dating back to the early 19th century. Two artworks from Singapore’s national collection, Anthony Poon’s W – White on 2P Waves and Iskandar Jalil’s Blue Vessel have also been included to juxtapose the nation’s artistic development against global art movements in the 1980s.

Treasures of the World from the British Museum also includes two Young Explorers’ Zones designed for children aged 7 to 12. Featuring activity sheets and learning stations, these zones enable children and their parents to embark on a learning journey across the different regions of the world. In conjunction with the exhibition, visitors can also enjoy public programmes such as workshops, curated tours, lectures by representatives from the British Museum and other historians, as well as theatre performances in the gallery. Merchandise inspired by the exhibition and from the British Museum, as well as the exhibition catalogue, will be on sale at the National Museum’s Museum Label shop.

Treasures of the World from the British Museum is running from 5 December 2015 to 29 May 2016 at the National Museum of Singapore. For more details and admission charges, please click here.

Gary Lim


Deputy Editor

Gary is one of those proverbial jack of all trades… you know the rest. When not writing about lifestyle and culture, he dabbles in photography, graphic design, plays four instruments and is a professional wearer of bowties. His greatest weakness: spending more money on clothes than he probably should. Find him across the social world as @grimlay

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