As published by the Tyee, the Museum of Anthropology wins my vote as the best crowd-free must-see during the Olympics. Many of Vancouver’s top museums have seen a spike in visitors. The Vancouver Art Gallery, for instance, has had about 61,000 visitors since the games began. But the Museum of Anthropology on the UBC campus has not done as well, despite great reviews.
“The artifacts that this museum possesses in its collection are truly astounding,” wrote Khamis H. of Phoenix, AZ on one forum. “I felt extremely lucky to make it across town after wasting time trying to see some silly Olympic venue.”
During the Cultural Olympiad, the museum unveiled $55.5 million dollars in renovations, some of which began before the Olympic bid was won. The reopening attracted thousands of visitors when full access to the building began on Jan. 23. Some expected a similar surge during the Olympics. Instead, says gift shop worker Eleanor Dean, “all of a sudden it’s gone quiet.”
Donald Sutherland, Queen Sonja from Norway, and President Horst Köhler of Germany are among those who have visited the museum. And an official told The Tyee that visits are up six per cent over last February.
But Wednesday Paul Marsh stood before a glass display case filled with Kwakwaka’wakw mourning masks, savoured the uncrowded quiet.
“I like the fact that there are fewer people,” said Marsh, who was leisurely taking photographs and reading about the artifacts. He thinks the lower traffic levels are “strictly a question of location.”
Dean agreed, saying that a visit to the museum is a good way to “get away from the madness of downtown.”
For more Olympic reviews, visit the original article in the Tyee.