7-3-2012 Museo National
Tuesday afternoon was spent at the National Museum of Costa Rica. It is housed in the old Costa Rican Army Fort in downtown San José called Bellavista Barracks (this is the “final” home for this collection—see link for more info). This exhibit has several unique sections, including a butterfly exhibit, pre-Columbian artifacts and history, the issue of gold and greed, and a pictorial respective by Francisco Coto a prolific photographer (80,000 taken over his lifetime). The tour guide for our bus was Maria (#2) who was extremely knowledgeable about what we were seeing and (at least on the bus) made the announcements in Spanish and English. The only bad part about the tour was that it was conducted after classes (we left UCR at 2 p.m. and got back at 4:30 p.m.).
Needless to say, getting pictures was a struggle—especially if you wanted to look at (reading and studying) anything in particular—so I promised myself that I would come back on a free day to enjoy it at a leisurely pace. Personally, I’m a little bit partial to the ceramics exhibits because it does a remarkable job of illustrating the historical and cultural changes through the centuries. That being said, there is one other truly impressive sight that this museum has several examples of—these are “perfectly” created round spheres. These items range in size from a 10cm to 2.5m, but many of the clues archaeology experts needed have been destroyed because of cultivation efforts over the years. Because of the work of the museum, national awareness has been brought to bear and new discoveries can be preserved and studied to ascertain the complete history of these artifacts.
— Dawn Clayton