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Museums: February 2013 Archives

Treasures from the Richelieu River

English Snuff Case bottle 1715.JPGThe Richelieu River has seen a lot of action over the centuries. Historically it provided an important link between Quebec and New York - and a route for the military during the 18th-century French and Indian War, the American Revolution and the War of 1812.

The flotsam and jetsam of that distant past are still being found on the riverbed, from arrowheads to bayonets to silver coins and shoe buckles.

Starting this coming Friday, you can see some of those discoveries at the Dorval Museum of Local History and Heritage. The exhibit is called Treasures from the Richelieu River.

Sean Gilmore and Derek Grout are the two divers who have spent years retrieving historical artefacts from the river. They tell Ainslie MacLellan about their finds. 

(Above, a free blown snuff bottle, dated 1715; photo courtesy of Sean Gilmore)

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Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and Moon

Ornement mochica en forme d'animal hybride2.jpgA new exhibit at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts transports visitors back 3000 years, to the ancient civilizations of Peru.

The exhibit Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and Moon features a staggering amount of priceless material - gold, silver, turquoise, rare pottery, textiles, even perfectly preserved feathers.

Thera re more than 370 items - and a third of them have never been displayed outside Peru.  Most pre-date the Incas and Spanish contact of the 1500's.

Urne.jpgVery little was known about these peoples - the Mochica, the Chimù, the Lambayeque - until a wave of archaeological exploration in Peru in the 1900's, sparked by the outside world's discovery of the Incan wonder: Machu Picchu.

The Museum's chief curator Nathalie Bondil says the exhibit is designed to show the impact that re-discovering these civilizations has had on the modern Peruvian sense of identity.

She took Ainslie MacLellan on a brief tour of this massive exhibit.

(Photos courtesy of  the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts)

 

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