Monday, April 16, 2007

A pleasant museum makeover

Since my last picture post on Seremban more than a year ago, I was pleasantly surprised upon my recent re-visit to the local Muzium Negeri that some positive changes have taken place there.

From the outside, the museum grounds looks exactly the same. But the interior of Teratak Perpatih where the state museum is located has been given a refreshing makeover.

Gone were the musty smell emanating from the old and weary looking displays. The whole ground floor looks impressively modern with very good lighting and even some interactive LCD displays showing video clips on the background history of Negeri Sembilan. During my visit, there was an exhibition of traditional games of old as well as a philatelic display by Pos Malaysia.

And yes. I missed the controversial "Hantu & Jin ...?" exhibition.

The doors on the first floor of Teratak Perpatih where the exhibits were displayed were closed following an edict by the National Fatwa Council that it was haram. Prior to the council’s ruling on Wednesday, the exhibition on ghouls and the supernatural at the state museum had attracted both the crowds and criticism since it opened on March 10. Council chairman Prof Datuk Dr Abdul Shukor Hussin had said that the council considered such exhibitions detrimental to the Islamic faith. (NST, 14 April 2007)

I guess some controversy is good if it could generate publicity and attract more people to visit the state museum.

Coming from Seremban, I am rather proud of the local museum because it is really a beautiful place. But strangely, many Seremban folks barely noticed the existence of the museum, let alone drop by for a visit. I think it is a real shame.

I hope the Negri Sembilan Museum Board can come up with some exciting ideas to continually update the museum into a real crowd-puller, making it more than just a popular venue for wedding photographs.

Some of the displays during my recent visit to the refurbished Negri Sembilan State Museum in Seremban.

The philatelic display section on the ground floor of Teratak Perpatih.

I wonder what happened to the old exhibits such as the traditional costumes, pottery, weapons etc that used to occupy the main display area. Perhaps more space can be created to expand the exhibition area to follow through on the good work that has been carried out thus far, making the Muzium Negeri a real living museum and a showcase of the fine history of Negeri Sembilan.

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