The National Museum and Art Gallery found in Papua New Guinea is known as a “Spiritual House” meant for the rich cultural and contemporary heritage of this diverse country. Owned by the Papua New Guineans, the museum has over 20,000 anthropological collections, a hefty 25,000 archaeological collection, a natural science collection of more than 18,000, war relics amounting to 20,000 and 7,000 contemporary art collections.
The extensive museum consists of three premises found in different parts of Papua New Guinea. The main museum and the Modern History Museum (also known as the War Museum) are located in Waigani and Gordons respectively, both in Port Moresby. The J.K. McCarthy Museum, on the other hand, is found in Goroka in the Eastern Highlands Province.
The main museum in Waigani has five display galleries: the Independence Museum, the Masterpiece Gallery, the Sir Allan Man Gallery, the Life and Land Gallery and the Sir Michael Gallery. A central courtyard with live birds and animals, a theater that can hold up to 250 people, an amphitheater, a souvenir shop, amenities area, four big storage rooms, a conservation laboratory, a carpentry workshop, a photographic laboratory, graphic rooms and editing equipment rooms can all be found at the main museum. Similar to its neighboring landmarks, the National Capital Botanical Garden and the National Parliament in Waigani, the National Museum and Art Gallery is a must-visit icon in Port Moresby.
The other two museums prove to have a more conservative approach when it comes to content of the museum. The Modern History Museum found along the Ahuia Street in Gordon consists of office space, two big storage rooms, a display room and a library. Also known as the War Museum, a collection of aircrafts, vehicles and war artifacts can be found that date back from the pre-independence and post-independence period in the history of Papua New Guinea. Some stand-out objects include the P-38F Lockheed Lighting Aircraft, which is the oldest P-38 found in a museum in the world.
With a display of six galleries that include a Niugini Room, the Leahy Wing, the Giddings Gallery, the Archaeological Room and the Soso Subi Gallery, the J.K. McCarthy Museum is the last installment of the National Museum and Art Gallery. Most of the museum’s main collections are specimens and artifacts from the Highlands region, which includes dishes made of wood, magic stones, stone blades, stone mortars, and sandstones used to make stone blades. An office for scientific and administrative purposes, a storage room and a gift shop can be found there.
All museums are open on weekdays from 8:30am to 3:30 pm and Sundays from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. The museums are closed from public viewing during Saturdays except for organized visits such as educational tours or private tours.
With an interesting blend of tradition and modernity, explore the depth and diversity of Papua New Guinea at the National Museum and Art Gallery. See the country’s unique cultural and historical features with its complex traditional lifestyle as the museum houses some of the greatest collections of the country.