Friday, September 6th 01:49 PM IST

Museums that house Golden treasures of yesteryears

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The golden treasures of yesteryears are scattered across continents in several magnificent museums that also house the best works of art and sculpture

A replica of The Gold Mask of Agamemnon at the Metropolitan Museum of New York

LONDON/NEW DELHI (Bullion Street): Museums have been set up around the world to preserve the rich heritage, art, sculpture and architecture of a bygone era. A casual glance at the museums reveal that art,sculpture of different types including mettalurgy is more prominent among the various exhibits. To date there has not been any museum dedicated to precious metals, but some of the museums have golden treasures that continue to generate wonder and excitement.

Here is a compiliation of some of the top museums that hold golden treasures:
-The Iranian National Museum is one of the most important ones in the capital city of Teheran. It has archaeological and cultural relices from all periods along with important works of art from more recent times, according to The 100 Most Beautiful Museums of the World, Rebo Publishers, Netherlands, 2005. One of the golden treasures exhibited is the The Golden Lion Rhyton, which was made in the 5th Century BC dating back to the Achemenid period. It is an ancient drinking vessel made of gold.

-The Egyptian Museum in Cairo, has the golden mask of the boy king, Tutankhamen, made around 1320 BC. It was found in the King's tomb discovered by archaelogists in 1922 in the Valley of Kings at Luxor. The museum has been in existence since 1858 and was found by a French Egyptologist, Auguste Mariette. The treasures from the Tomb of Tutankhamen are located in the upper fllor. "They are besieged by visitors, especially the darkened room with jewelry made from gold and preicous stones."

-Peru's Museo Nacional De Argueologia Y Antropologia, is one of the best museums in Peru and has valuable finds dating frm the pre-Columbian period most of the more recently discovered archaelogical treasures from Peru's past tend to disappear into foreign hands. In 1981, pre-Columbian gold jewelry worth five million dollars was even stolen form the Museum itself. It has several golden masks of mummies. "Peru is a desperately poor country sitting on a vast cultural treasure which it is incapable of protecting. 

-The National Archaeological Museum of Athens has The Gold Mask of Agamemnon belonging to the glorious Mycenaen era. It shows the face of a jaded old man. The mycenaen treasures are displayed opposite the museum entrance and in a smaller room. Much of the ancient treasures were discovered by German businessman, Heinrich Schliemann fro the royal graves of Mycenae.

-Victoria & Alberta Museum, England has some of the best treasures in art and sculpture. (Also Read: Best Books on Indian Jewellery tradition)

-In India, the National Museum, New Delhi, state museums in Tamil Nadu,karnataka, Salar Jung museum in Hyderabad and other places contain a rich collection of golden treasures excavated and preserved for posterity. 

Also Read: India, the ideal destination for an international museum on jewellery history

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