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The International Museum Day

Yesterday, the International Museum Day was celebrated worldwide with some 30,000 museums participating. In Mallorca, there are perhaps seventy museums, half of which joined this initiative organized by ICOM, the International Council of Museums. I took the opportunity to visit the Museu Regional d’Artà. Of all the museums I have ever been to in Mallorca, this one is the most ineptly run one; I do not recommend a visit.

Apparently, the museum was founded in 1928 as the initiative of a group of scholars interested in studying history, archaeology and the cultural heritage of the Artà region. Its funds come mainly from private donations, some archaeological excavations carried out by the Museum as well as a collection of flora and fauna brought together by one of the founders, an apothecary. There are three museum sections, Natural History, Archaeology and Ethnology. Whilst some of the pieces would well merit some attention and deserve some interest, the entire collection is presented totally haphazardly and clumsily. The museum’s treasures are hardly explained, most of the labels are illegible or out of our visual range. Some of the objects do not even have any label explaining the name, date or location of its find. I cannot see any educational value in a museum visit there; there is no apparent professional skill whatsoever and hardly any sense of order. Sorry. Someone is not doing their job in Artà.

The piece shown below (photo bottom) seems to be a Roman funerary panel, supposedly dating between the 3rd and 6th century A. D. and possibly found in the Ses Salines area. This information is not available unless you ask the nice lady in reception; even though she kindly looked up the information amongst handwritten notes in a book of scribbles, I consider the data imparted as pretty dubious.

If you have missed International Museum Day, do not despair. Open days will be held next Saturday, May 21st, at the Castell de Sant Carles in Palma (10h00 to 18h00). At the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró, also in Palma, an Hort Ecològic will be inaugurated with a guided tour being offered at 12h30, also on Saturday.

The photos were taken in Artà, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: May 18th, 2011. The time was 12:47:27 and 13:08:39, respectively.

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