From Bees to Toilets to Noodles -- Celebrate International Museum Day at One of Our Top 10 Quirky Museums
BOSTON, MA -- (Marketwired) -- The Smithsonian, The Louvre, The British Museum, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) are among the most popular and visited museums around the world. With International Museum Day coming up on May 18th, those may be the kind of classic museums that come to mind. However, the travel experts at Cheapflights.com, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, decided to take a different approach to honoring this day. With the theme of this year's International Museum Day being Museums (memory + creativity) = social change, the team took creativity to the next level and came up with a list of the Top 10 Quirky Museums.
The Oxford Dictionary defines a museum as "a building in which objects of historical, scientific, artistic, or cultural interest are stored and exhibited." Below are five museums from our list that push that the boundaries of that definition:
- Leeds Castle Dog Collar Museum, Kent, England - A medieval manor must have dogs. And so, fittingly, Leeds Castle, the former property of six medieval queens, has an outstanding homage to the many hunting and gun dogs, guard mastiffs and house pets that have been part of the storied history of this home. The castle's collection of dog collars, the largest of its kind, covers 500 years of canine neckwear; from spiked iron collars that protected dogs from the wilds of the forest, to highly decorated engraved silver and baroque leatherwork pieces -- to the padlocked brass rings worn by service dogs during World War II. This display began as a gift to the dog-loving final mistress of the house, Lady Baillie, and continues to grow through the efforts of the Leeds Castle Foundation.
- Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, New Delhi, India - A museum of toilets and toilet history has its lighthearted moments. After all, potty humor isn't just for five year olds. Still, there are important and interesting lessons to be learned with the study of toilets, and the Sulabh Museum is the place to learn them. The museum recounts over 4000 years of history and displays artifacts dating back to 1145 AD. From the simple and practical to the ornate and innovative, the range of toilets, bidets, chamber pots and more tell a story of evolution. In addition to entertaining and educating visitors, this museum, which is an offshoot of the non-profit origination Sulabh International, puts the focus on the real challenges of sanitation management that have plagued the world and continue to challenge India and the Indian culture.
- Museum of Apiculture, Radovljica, Slovenia - Beekeeping! That's the story the Museum of Apiculture tells and in a very charming way. The long-standing practice is a cornerstone of Slovenian culture and the history is captured here. Since opening in 1959 in a 14th century manor house in the old part of town, the museum has been collecting and keeping records for the region and proudly displays the contributions of local beekeeping legends Anton Janša and Peter Pavel Glavar as well as the introduction of Slovenian bred bee species. While hundreds of years of innovation are on display, the most eye-catching collection is the array of painted frontal boards of bee hives. This folk art custom, which is unique to Slovenia, was most popular in the early 1800s and the scenes range from religious to political to historical to everyday living.
- International UFO Museum and Research Center, Roswell, New Mexico, United States - Roswell, New Mexico, was a sleepy corner of the country until a rancher came upon a crash site just outside of town in July 1947 and the questions began. The search for UFOs (unidentified flying objects) is a passion point for many, and this international museum, which opened in 1992 and has outgrown its first two locations, is the central point for that passion. In addition to exhibits on the incident in 1947, visitors and researchers have ready access to information on abductions, sightings, crop circles and Area 51. The museum also helps host an annual Roswell UFO Festival each year in the first week of July.
- The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum, Osaka, Japan - The annual worldwide consumption of instant noodles hovers around 1 billion servings. Not bad for a product only invented in 1958. The story of the creation and global takeover of instant noodles is told here at the Instant Ramen Museum, which is centered around a replica of research shack where Momofuku Ando first created the "Chicken Ramen" that started it all. Other highlights include a CUPNOODLES theater, shaped like the just-add water product Momofuku Ando brought to market in 1971, a display of the "Space Ram" noodles developed for Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi to bring the Space Shuttle Discovery and an exhibit of instant noodles products from around the world. However for the complete ramen experience, make sure to leave time (and make a reservation) for the hands-on workshop where visitors stretch, steam and then "flash fry" dry their own noodles. Want to just create your own flavor concoction? Then step into the My Cup Noodle Factory to pick your own soup recipe and bring home a personalized cup of noodles.
If you thought the above were fascinating, check out the next five quirky museums to round out our list: International Spy Museum, Washington, D.C., United States; Venustempel Sexmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Diefenbunker, Canada's Cold War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Museum of Human Disease, Sydney, Australia and Vulcan Tourism & Trek Station, Vulcan, Alberta, Canada. To see the bizarre details on these collections and read Cheapflights.com's complete Top 10 Quirky Museums, visit http://news.cheapflights.com/top-10-quirky-museums.
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