The world's museums in superlatives

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The world's museums in superlatives

Iconoclastic, immense, futuristic: the world's museums can sometimes be quite surprising by their uniqueness. Discover seven of the world's must-see institutions.

Across the four corners of the globe, cultural institutions exhibit masterpieces of world art. In the 16th century, Pope Julius II was one of the first people to want to put the marvels made by men on display, and so he founded the first galleries of the Vatican Museums in Rome. This is where, centuries later, philosopher Denis Diderot would admire the statue of Laocoön and His Sons portraying human agony.

Admiration is also apparent on the faces of visitors to the Louvre, in the centre of Paris. With its ballrooms, stucco-covered arcades and gold-embellished corridors, the immense royal palace-turned-museum in the late 18th century houses one of the most incredible art collections in the world. From the treasures of Ancient Egypt to the ceiling painted by contemporary artist Georges Braque, several thousands of years of aesthetic expression pass before your eyes.

On the other end of the spectrum from the Louvre is the smallest museum in the world, the Albaret-Sainte-Marie Municipal Museum near Lyon. Here, the tiny 20 sqm of exhibition space is dedicated to the village's history. Through newspaper clippings and the many local artisan-made objects, you can dive into the past of this rural French region.

Another ambiance on the other side of the world awaits at the Royal Barges National Museum in Bangkok, which has been dazzling visitors since it opened in 1972. The ruling family's eight ships proudly display their statues of gods richly decorated and their bridges covered with gold.

Further north, you will hardly believe you are still on Earth as you discover Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul. With its floating spaceship form, this modern architectural gem holds many objects, pieces of furniture and accessories connected to the history of design.

If it is the seventh art that floats your boat, head to the Museum of the Moving Image in New York. These former cinema studios were transformed into a museum dedicated to the great classic films. Here, two auditoriums will let you delve into the history of film and Hollywood stars. There is no other place like it in the world.

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The world's museums in superlatives

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