In December 2011 the new high tech marvel of Lima's museum scene opened its doors to the public. The Museo Metropolitano de Lima (Metropolitan Museum of Lima) is the first completely virtual museum of the country. Using movies, 2D, 3D and even 4D as well as holograms, projections and other technical finesses you are lead through 10,000 years of Lima's history and even get a glimpse of Peru's capital in 2050.
The Metropolitan Museum of Lima is housed in an imposing structure from 1925, which was built to accommodate the first exhibition of the national mining industry and later was home to the Transport and Communication Ministry. In 2005 it was decided to reconvert the declared historic monument to the purpose it was built for, a place for exhibitions. And the beautiful old building should house a completely different and modern museum showing Lima's history: the Museo Metropolitano de Lima. Finally after many delays the museum was opened in December 2011.
The Metropolitan Museum of Lima is no walk-through or artifact museum; as the Visual Director Luis Llosa put it: "No showcases, no exhibits or objects! The museum offers a show, a spectacle! It's through and through a visual museum." In images, movies and videos (2D, 3D and 4D) and with the help of projections, holograms and virtual reality 10,000 years of Lima's history are shown to the visitor.
The museum has over 20 halls. After your visit to the reception hall with an introduction video and to the beautifully presented National Bibliotheca where Ricardo Palma (or Sr. Mariategui) as hologram is welcoming you, you are on your way through Lima's history divided into the pre-Hispanic era, Colonial times, the independence, the modern age, the 20th and 21th century highlighting all important episodes of the city. While the multimedia and interactive show is fascinating, don't miss the remarkable "decorations" in some of the halls.
As the greatness of any big city lies in its soul, you can even try to find Lima's "heartbeat" in the "Limeñan Soul Hall". Here you are introduced to typical food, music, architecture, religion, thinkers, literary and entertainment.
- The Museo Metropolitano can only be visited with a guided tour. Groups of 20 to 30 persons are clustered in the entrance hall. So be prepared to wait for a few minutes until enough people arrive. At the moment a tour takes around 1 ½ hours, but will be extended to 3 hours as soon as all of the "exhibits" are completed.
- Unfortunately right now all movies are only in Spanish! So at least a basic to intermediate knowledge of the language is required to enjoy the museum. English tours are in planning.
- In our opinion the museum isn't fully recommendable for children. Even though surely interesting some of the videos contain violent scenes. Viewer discretion is advised.
- And last but not least to protect the highly delicate technical equipment the halls are heavily air conditioned and the ACs produce a cold wind. If you are visiting in Lima's summer dressed just with a T-Shirt and shorts and are a person who feels cold easily, we recommend taking a sweater with you.