Maritime Museum in Colombo ‘a treasure trove of artefacts that could be a leading tourist attraction’

 

There’s so much history and mystery in Sri Lanka it’s hard to know where to start—but the Ports Authority Maritime Museum is as good a place as any.

Tucked into a corner of the Fort area of Colombo, a stone’s throw north of the much better known Dutch Hospital shopping precinct, it’s a real (if overlooked) blast from the past.

And as The Times says, it “houses a treasure trove of artefacts and information in an old Dutch warehouse can be turned into a leading tourist attraction”.

 

Recently refurbished thanks to a grant by the Netherlands Government under their colonial heritage conservation programme, it is “dedicated to the history and evolution of the ports of the island”.

Several British cannon stand imperially at the entrance to the museum, which is situated on Chaithya Road, adjoining the Colombo Port.

The ground floor, with some of its original floor tiles still visible, tells of the arrival of Prince Vijaya, while several paintings record the arrival of the Portuguese, Dutch and British.

 

Meanwhile, the food, restaurants and places-of-interest review site Yamu is rather less charmed: “One of the lesser-known attractions of Colombo, the Maritime Museum has the potential to be interesting. For now, it is mostly dingy and poorly-lit.”

But reviewer Immad was quite taken with “a massive model of a deep-sea diver that is actually pretty damn cool”.

The conclusion is that, all in all, the place is worth seeing. But as Immad points out, “I’d like to see this place lit up, dust-free and with a less tacky reception. It’s worth a visit, but don’t get too excited”.

 

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