To you, museums may be cornucopias rich with information, stories and histories, transporting you to different time periods, providing the gift of knowledge and tending to your every nerdy whim. Or, you may see them as stuffy, boring buildings and would much rather be indulging in other locations rich in culture. There are millions of museums around the world, from the big to the small, focusing on a wide range of topics, or placing their focus in one niche. There are some museums that you need to go to, just for their sheer uniqueness.
There is certainly nothing stuffy about an underwater museum, the treasures of which you can only see whilst diving or sometimes snorkeling. These museums are often a series of sculptures purposefully sunk and making for a unique experience. Cancun, Mexico, is home to the very popular ‘MUSA’ or the ‘Museo Subacuático de Arte’ and was created by British sculptor Jason De Caires Taylor. Cancun is a world preservation site and is a popular destination for divers for its rich marine life – making the underwater museum an excellent location.
There are several versions of underwater museums around the world, a newly opened underwater exhibit in France features several sculptures, again from Jason De Caires Taylor, which divers and snorkelers can explore. The museum is located off the coast of the French Island, Île Sainte-Marguerite, Time Out described: ‘The cement sculptures have been installed on the seafloor as part of a new underwater ‘museum’ by British artist Jason deCaires Taylor near the city of Cannes. Now open to the public, the free exhibit makes for a calming (and eerily beautiful) antidote to the razzle-dazzle usually associated with this particularly glitzy corner of the French Riviera. The sculptures portray six locals, including an 80-year-old fisherman, an entrepreneur, a curator and some schoolchildren. Each is six foot tall and weighs a whopping ten tons.’
Denmark will be opening up a fairy-tale museum in Odense, the hometown of famed Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. Hans Christian Andersen wrote over 150 stories or fairytales, many of which are extremely well known – The Little Mermaid, The Snow Queen, The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor’s New Clothes – inspiring films such as Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Frozen and many more.
Time Out wrote:
‘Now the city’s Hans Christian Andersen Museum, which is set to open in June this year, aims to offer visitors the feeling of stepping inside the author’s fairytale universe. The complex will be split up into a series of cylindrical structures with glass façades that blend in naturally with the surrounding gardens. Narrow wooden columns will create the impression of an indoor forest, while the buildings’ concave roofs will be topped with hanging flower gardens.
The attraction will also be home to a café, an underground museum and a ‘children’s space’ that will host events and workshops. It has been built just near his childhood home, which is already open to visitors – making the city a mega-attraction for Andersen fans, in the same way Stratford-upon-Avon is for Shakespeare. Architects Kengo Kuma and Associates took inspiration from Andersen’s story ‘The Tinderbox’, in which a whole new world is concealed beneath a single tree. ‘The idea behind the architectural design resembled Andersen’s method, where a small world suddenly expands to a bigger universe,’ said Kuma.’
Museum of Bad Art
If Art galleries really isn’t your thing, why not check out some really bad art to see if that better entertains you? The Museum of bad art in Massachusetts has collected together an intriguingly gratifying collection of horrors. Culture Trip writes: ‘…found in three locations across Somerville and Brookline. Psychotic surrealism, lacklustre landscapes and just pure bad taste abound in these sites, creating a rare art gallery where your nine year-old really could have done that. If nothing else, it will really make you appreciate your next trip to a bona fide art gallery which cannot help but look good in comparison.’
This is definitely a popular attraction for many tourists visiting these areas. You may visit Iceland for its stunning scenery and the famous Northern lights, but close by is The Icelandic Phallogical Museum ‘ features close to 300 jarred genitals of animals ranging in size from 2mm hamster genitals to the two meter tip of a five meter blue whale penis…’ Culture Trip wrote.
One of the most famous museums in this area however is of course the Sex Museum in Amsterdam, first opening in 1985 and one of the most-visited museums in Amsterdam (sorry Van Gogh). According to Tourism Teacher ‘Sexmuseum Amsterdam allows visitors to explore the evolution of sex throughout the ages thanks to pictures, artefacts, photos, video recordings and artwork. It is a journey of sex through different eras. From Cleopatra to the Middle Ages, there is so much to learn here and it’s no wonder it is such a popular museum.’