Museum

Seven priceless treasures lost to war

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: October 11, 2010   View Article

During the fall of Baghdad in 2003, thousands of artifacts were taken from the Iraqi capital’s National Museum, whose holdings documented the rise of civilization in ancient Mesopotamia. Scholars called the losses a tragedy for all of humanity.

Since the looting, about 5,000 artifacts have been recovered and returned to Iraq, including the antiquities shown here that were seized by Syrian authorities after they were smuggled across the border. About 600 of the artifacts that had been returned went missing once more – and were found again just this month, misplaced among kitchen supplies at the Iraqi prime minister’s office.

Experts believe more than 15,000 artifacts remain at large.

Check out six more historical and archaeological treasures lost to wars and conflict, from the invasion of Iraq to a 17th century attack on the Parthenon. Some treasures have been restored or replicated; others are gone forever.

Geeking Out and About

Publication: MSN/SwitchYard Media   Date: April 20, 2010   View Article

Why hide your dorky self behind a bland exterior of cool when there are so many interesting places where weirdos (and we mean that in the best sense) roam free?

Tech nerds who need a transistor fix flock to the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley. News junkies visit the Newseum in the nation’s capital, where they rifle through archives and watch old clips. And grown men who play with dolls? Well, there’s a place for them at the Toy and Action Figure Museum in Pauls Valley, Okla.

Whether you’re a closet disco dweeb, a Vulcan-eared Trekkie or just have an obsession with all things Bond James Bond, there’s a museum somewhere in this vast land with your name on it. We surveyed a few of the strange, exciting places you should visit.

First Proof: Ancient Birds Had Iridescent Feathers

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 26, 2009   View Article

Just like modern-day starlings, some ancient birds had glossy black feathers with a metallic, glimmering sheen, scientists report in a new study.

The discovery is based on 40-million-year-old fossils of an unidentified bird species that were stored at the Senckenburg Museum in Frankfurt, Germany for up to 30 years. The fossils represent the first evidence of ancient iridescence in feathers.

Seven icons of science at the Smithsonian

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: May 22, 2009   View Article

In “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,” Ben Stiller returns to the movie screen as security guard Larry Daley for another adventure among animated artifacts and historical figures. The museum and research complex houses more than 136 million objects, works of art and specimens. Check out seven iconic items from the museum’s science collections, including a few that come to life under Daley’s watch.

Egypt Asks for Loans of Artifacts Held Abroad

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 30, 2007   View Article

Egypt will request temporary loans of some of its most cherished artifacts currently on display at museums abroad, antiquities officials announced on Sunday.

The requested items include the famous bust of Nefertiti currently at the Altes Museum in Berlin, Germany, and the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum in London.

Cadaver Exhibition Draws Crowds, Controversy in Florida

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 29, 2005   View Article

An exhibition starring real, skinned human corpses arranged in poses—a soccer player in mid-kick, for example—is drawing record- breaking crowds and controversy to a Florida museum.

Fetuses and a cigarette smoker’s tarred lungs are among the 20 corpses and 260 body parts on display.

“Bodies: The Exhibition” opened August 18 at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa. The bodies in question are unclaimed or unidentified individuals from China. As such, neither the deceased nor their families consented to the use of the corpses in the exhibit.

At New American Indian Museum, Artifacts Are “Alive”

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 21, 2004   View Article

When the Smithsonian Institution’s new National Museum of the American Indian opened today in Washington, D.C., visitors got their first glimpses of many artifacts that, in the eyes of Indians, are literally alive.

“The items are alive, just like Indian people are alive,” said historian Clifford Trafzer, director of American Indian Studies at the University of California, Riverside.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach