Among Mexico City’s many attractions is its extensive array of museums, 170 — second only to London.
Some of the megalopolis’ most well-known spaces include the Frida Kahlo Museum in Coyoacán, the National Museum of History and Anthropology in Chapultepec, and the Museum of Memory and the Memory and Tolerance Museum across from Alameda Park.
But perhaps Mexico City’s most architecturally dazzling and collection-rich museum is the Museo Soumaya, which houses a collection of over 66,000 works of art.
The Soumaya is privately owned but is free and open to the public, with over two million visitors annually.
The museum was founded in 1994 by Carlos Slim Helú, who is, by virtually all measures, Mexico’s richest person. The collection was started by Slim’s wife, Soumaya Domit, who was an art lover herself. After she died in 1999, Slim continued to build the collection in her memory.
The museum is housed in Plaza Loreto and was designed by Mexican architect Fernando Romero.
Unsurprisingly, as Carlos Slim Helú made much of his fortune in the telecommunications industry, the museum also features vintage telecommunication equipment, which is quite interesting.
Past the security screening, visitors are greeted by an imposing lifesize marble reproduction of Michelangelo’s David.
Once inside the museum itself, it quickly becomes clear that the architecture of this awe-inspiring building is itself as impressive as any of the works it contains, and that is really saying something.
The museum’s collection spans a wide range of eras and styles, from pre-Columbian art to contemporary art. It includes works by renowned artists such as Auguste Rodin, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Frida Kahlo.
The museum has a strong focus on Mexican art, with works by Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros.
The Museo Soumaya is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., though it is a good idea to get there a little early as it can get really packed, especially on weekends.
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