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The Elie Wiesel Memorial is housed in this modest house in Sighet, Romania

Elie Wiesel Memorial House: a museum with a message

I am ashamed to admit that when we passed through the small city of Sighetu Marmaţiei, in the north of Romania, it was just a place to stop for the night on our way home to the Netherlands. Our GPS was about half a block off in directing us to the hotel we’d booked randomly…

The Erotic Museum Amsterdam is in the red-light district, in a building that served originally as a warehouse and was built in 1685.

Is the Erotic Museum Amsterdam erotic?

This entry is part 18 of 18 in the series Amsterdam Museums

The short answer to the question in the title is “No, the Erotic Museum Amsterdam is not erotic.” What is it? Thought provoking and sometimes disturbing. Why I didn’t go to the Erotic Museum Amsterdam before You may remember that I reviewed the Sex Museum some time ago, calling it “the cure for insomnia.” I…

The wall of petri dishes at the Micropia exhibit

Micropia: museum of invisible life

This entry is part 1 of 18 in the series Amsterdam Museums

Getting off the tram with my son and daughter, my first indication that we were nearing our destination, Micropia, was an arrow on a building with the text “only 80,000,000 micrometers to Micropia.” Micropia, a new exhibit at the ARTIS zoo in Amsterdam, bills itself as “the world’s first museum of microbes.” It’s quite a…

A small Banksy stencil showing a man throwing flowers.

Moco Museum: New in Amsterdam

This entry is part 2 of 18 in the series Amsterdam Museums

Banksy and Dalí on show in one museum? When I heard that, I was definitely up for a day trip to Amsterdam to visit the new Moco Museum. Moco Museum Moco stands for Modern Contemporary Museum and, like the much better-known Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh museum, it is located on the Museumplein in Amsterdam. The…

a Mesopotamian matriarch from ca. 2000-1750 BCE in the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem.

Bible Lands Museum: The history behind the Bible

The premise, or perhaps I should say the Unique Selling Point, of the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem is to illustrate each and every civilization mentioned in the Bible. Unlike some Bible museums, this one is not dogmatic: it shows the actual history of each civilization. Here, the Bible isn’t just a religious document: the stories…

Another angle on the "environment" at Electric Ladyland in Amsterdam

Electric Ladyland: hippie heaven

This entry is part 17 of 18 in the series Amsterdam Museums

Electric Ladyland in Amsterdam is definitely one of the weirdest museums I’ve visited yet. (Okay, the Toilet Museum in Suwon, South Korea, was pretty weird too, but this isn’t a contest. At least not yet … ) The museum claims to be the “first museum of fluorescent art.” It certainly includes a lot of fluorescent paint. Whether…

Ceramic cats in a cabinet at the Cat Cabinet, Amsterdam

The Cat Cabinet: another quirky Amsterdam museum

This entry is part 16 of 18 in the series Amsterdam Museums

The founder of the Cat Cabinet, Bob Meijer, named his cat John Pierpont Morgan. Why name him after a 19th century American financier? I don’t know. Born in 1966, J.P. Morgan received a special gift from Meijer every five years. On his fifth birthday, it was a portrait by Ansel Sanberg. On his tenth, his present was a…

The Houseboat Museum in Amsterdam

The Houseboat Museum in Amsterdam

This entry is part 7 of 18 in the series Amsterdam Museums

If you’ve ever wandered the UNESCO World Heritage-listed canal rings of Amsterdam, you’ve noticed the many houseboats moored along the canals. Have you ever wondered what they’re like on the inside? What’s it like to live in a houseboat? The Houseboat Museum gives a glimpse of that life: a very quick glimpse, given how small…

Two Rodin works: In the foreground, a small plaster cast of St. John the Baptist Preaching (1878). In the background, a large statue of The Thinker in patinated plaster from 2903.

The Groninger Museum does Rodin

The Groninger Museum is best known for the building’s design. Considered a post-modern masterpiece, or a post-modern monstrosity, depending on who you ask, each of the seemingly disconnected parts was designed by a different architect: Alessandro Mendini, Michele de Lucchi, Architectural bureau Coop Himmelb(l)au and Philippe Starck all had a hand in designing different “pavilions”…

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