Didem Doğan

New York’s museums: Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York’s answer to London’s British Museum or Paris’ Louvre. The main museum is located at the Eastern side of the Central Park with an enormous collection of antique civilisations including the Greek, the Roman and the Egyptian which would require days to truly visit. Your ticket will be valid for three consequent days in all Met museums including the Met Breuer, a couple of blocks down, the space which is reserved for contemporary art exhibitions. The other museum Met Cloisters is located in farther north. As you enter the museum you find the Greek section on the left hand side starting with the fifth century Athens, then the centre of the golden age of Greek civilisation where thirty thousand male citizens could participate directly in democratic regime. Various sculptures show the perfect description of the human being with athletic bodies, a serene look on the face reflecting the ideal state of being. A big column is brought from the third century (B.C.) city of Sardis that is located in today’s Turkey. Following the Greek section is the Roman period where we see tombs showing the funeral traditions of Romans, they have descriptions of daily life of those times with sculptures in their exterior. Following the romans is the Byzantine stein with some mosaic pieces. There is a nice hall with nineteenth century European sculptures. In another hall we see copies of some other famous sculptures such as Rodin’s Burghers of Calais. On the right hand side of the first floor is the Egyptian section. The hall opens with the tomb of Perneb, a court official or a member of the royal family during the third century (B.C) Egyptian period. Then you see many other tombs, the exterior walls have similar Egyptian symbolic descriptions: eyes, birds, snakes. The main attraction of the museum is the Temple of Dendur which fills a big hall. The entire temple is brought from Egypt in 1965 as a gift from the Egyptian government to the US in exchange for its financial supports. The temple was made in Southern Nile during the Roman era in Egyptian style when the emperor Augustus was the ruler and he is painted as an Egyptian pharaoh. Museums’s upper floor has a big collection of European impressionists as well as current exhibitions such as Delacroix, the French painter, during our visit. You can also see the palace of 2nd Nashurpal from the period of the Asyrians. Do not forget to climb to the roof top of the museum. Note: the Met museum as no free visiting day or hours as the Mama or the Guggenheim so if you are a non-resident you will need to buy the full ticket.