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The Museum Experience One of my favorite things to do when traveling in a new city is to visit the museums. I have never been to a city that did not offer the usual museum fare, usually in the form of the “Anytown Art Museum”, or the “Anytown Museum of Natural History”. While these types of museums house some incredible artifacts, and I do visit them often, I also like to seek out museums of a more unusual sort. Museums are mostly the same just about everywhere you go, both in the United States and Europe. They offer the visitor a glimpse into the past culture of any given city or country by displaying relics found throughout the world. But there are also many museums that showcase artifacts of the culture in a much more…show more content…
The most profound image I took away from the Barbie collection was the development and various uses of plastics from those early years to today. Toy museums are popular for two reasons, they show an aspect of a culture that an art or history museum may not address, but more importantly, they take the visitor back to their own childhood when they see the toys that they played with when they were young, and awaken the imagination again in ways not known for years. Another popular topic for museums in Europe is the torture museum. The Dungeon, in Prague is the only one I have visited, but there are several others as well in Germany and France. In fact, there is a website devoted to torture museums in Europe. Torture was a common practice in Medieval Europe both for punishment and gathering information, and I suppose the fascination lives on. The Dungeon displays some interesting instruments used in the Middle Ages. They run the gamut from the traditional thumbscrew, to various brands that were used to signify the type of crime committed, to some very painful looking stretching racks, ankle screws, and hanging devices. One interesting device, called the “Crown of Thorns” is an iron ring with several nails woven into it. This ring is placed on the prisoner and pounded down around his skull until the

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