Philly gets a 'new' old museum

 

Philadelphia's Penn Museum reopened last weekend with a new front entrance, more exhibit space and a new setting for its Sphinx. 

Strictly speaking, it's not really a reopening, but rather the completion of a transformation that reorganized the spaces in the 130-year-old building to create new spaces for galleries devoted to Africa and to Mexico and Central America. The work also included redoing a historic auditorium for accessibility and air conditioning. So much change that the museum is advertising itself as the New Penn Museum.

The museum, whose formal name is the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Achaeology and Anthropology, began as a place to house the collection brought back by university-sponsored expeditions. Over the years, it has become an attraction for a far wider audience, but says it will always also serve its original purpose as a teaching and research institution.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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