New European museums and permanent displays

The current redevelopment and expansion of the Ulster Museum in Belfast (with notable holdings of Irish furniture, porcelain, silver, and glass), which anticipates reopening in late October; and, even more so, the February 2009 reopening of the Iraq National Museum, with a large portion of the objects reclaimed after its recent looting, poignantly speak to the importance of such cultural institutions and the objects they display.

Ulster Museum, Belfast · scheduled to open late Oc­­to­­­ber ·

Iraq National Museum, Bagdad ·

Images from above: Panorama of Saint Petersburg by Charles Claude Bachelier, c. 1850. Hermitage Amsterdam; New Acropolis Museum, Athens, designed by Bernard Tschumi in collaboration with Michalis Photiadis. Photograph by Nikos Daniilidis; West facade of the Neues Museum, Berlin, as recently rebuilt by David Chipperfield in collaboration with Julian Harrap. © Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz/David Chipperfield Architects, photograph by Ute Zscharnt; Oval writing box and cover, Jiangxi Province, 1426-1435. British Museum, Percival David Collection; Reliquary casket of Saint Thomas Becket, Limoges, France, c. 1180-1190. Victoria and Albert Museum. © V and A Images; Interior of the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford, as recently restored. Photograph by courtesy of the Pitt Rivers Museum; View in the Schwarzenberg Palace, Prague; Interior of the Palazzo Grimani, Venice.

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by Émile Jacques Ruhlmann (1879-1933), 1926. Macassar ebony, amaranth, and ivory. Metropolitan Museum of Art. By Cynthia Drayton

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