Lima’s Best Museums

Whether just passing through or staying for a couple weeks, it’s always nice to learn about the history of the places you visit. Peru has an illustrious history dating back thousands of years to pre-Colombian times, eventually being colonized by the Spanish in 1531. Lima is Peru’s capital city (and also the largest) and for that reason has significant meaning to the financial, political, and cultural well-being of the country. One of the easiest ways to gain knowledge about these topics is visiting one of the many museums located in Lima. This article will break down some of the best museums available as well as what kind of art each one is focused on.

Museo Larco

Located in the neighborhood of Pueblo Libre, Museo Larco prides itself in having more than 5,000 years’ worth of Peruvian artifacts and treasures. Its permanent exhibition has 13 rooms dedicated solely to the ancient culture of Incan society. After paying a general entrance fee of 30 soles you will be able to see displays ranging from woven clothing to musical instruments. Also included is a library and video room. Equally as important is the display full of reserve items. Electronically catalogued, this room offers 100% public access to many items through an online database. General access to the items has allowed for authentic connections between the public and the antique art collections. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to absorb all this information by yourself. Luckily, the museum offers guided tours by trained curators in both English and Spanish. At a cost of only 10 soles, this hour long tour is well worth the extra information. On the museum’s exterior is an open air park where you can relax and enjoy the local fauna and architecture.

El Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI)

Started in 1954 by a group of 25 individuals, MALI has become the largest museum of contemporary art in Peru. With 2 floors and 30 rooms of unique art styles, there are a mountain of things to discover here. The admission fees for tourists is 30 soles with information about guided tours at the front desk. Temporary galleries reside on the first floor and currently display audiovisuals made by the famous Peruvian artist, Maya Watanabe. Through many acquisitions and donations, the permanent gallery on the second floor has the most complete collection of artistic creation in the entire country. Many of these collections focus on the development of Andean identity. Though colonized in 1531, Peru didn’t gain independence until 1879 and therefore was heavily influenced by Spanish culture. Specifically, rooms 24 and 29 are designed to demonstrate the creation of a new identity separated from Spanish control. Here you can find works by Francisco Laso, one of the first European trained painters. Known as a pioneer in national emblematic images, Laso’s vision heavily enhanced the idea of the Peruvian Indian.

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Museo Oro del Perú

Curious about glitz and glamour? Look no farther than the Gold Museum of Peru. Located in the urban center of Lima, this museum was founded in 1910 by Miguel Mujico Gallo. Gallo’s knack for hunting led him to build a massive collection of antique weapons as well as a large manifestation of gold pieces. For an entrance fee of 33 soles you will be able to view pre-Incan jewelry such as ear rings and nose rings. Not only obsessed with gold, the silver and copper displays will leave you impressed with the Incan’s incredible craftsmanship. In addition to the golden treasures spread about the museum, you can also view the ornate weapons used by the Spaniards. From handheld pistols to gold engraved swords, the superb condition of the collection helps one imagine the opulence of the Spanish conquistadores.

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