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Acclaimed Vancouver museum has a new face

Snow or no, one of Vancouver's iconic visitor attractions will re-open in time for the Olympic games. The Museum of Anthropology has knockout displays of Northwest Coast native cultures.

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The museum's collection is among the major anthropological collections in North America. The web site states, "MOA houses some 36,000 ethnographic objects, as well as 535,000 archaeological objects under the care of UBC's Laboratory of Archaeology. The ethnographic materials derive from many parts of the world, including the South Pacific, Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. There are approximately 6,000 objects from B.C.'s First Nations in the museum's collections; we also house 5,000 textiles from around the world, 3,500 coins, and 4,400 works on paper/made of paper."

Nothing we saw in a quick tour of exhibits (truncated when a museum worker found we had wandered into a "wait until Saturday" zone) rivaled the poles, but there was so much more than before, better housed, and with new ways for the public to relate to the exhibits. Long after the snow is gone from the 2010 Olympics, this will remain as an article of pride for the Olympics city.

Floyd J. McKay, professor of journalism emeritus at Western Washington University, was a print and broadcast journalist in Oregon for three decades. Recipient of a DuPont-Columbia Broadcast Award for documentaries, and a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard, he is also a historian and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Washington. He resides in Bellingham and can be reached at floydmckay@comcast.net.


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