THE BLUE PENNY MU­SEUM

Islander (English - Chinese) - - DESTINATIO­N MAURITIUS -

Set up in a beau­ti­ful old stone Build­ing, next to the wharf at Le

Cau­dan Water­font, the Blue Penny Mu­seum presents a rich col­lec­tion of price­less na­tional trea­sures, made all the more en­thralling by a well-de­signed scenog­ra­phy. Ex­hibits en­com­pass an­cient maps, prints, paint­ings, sculp­tures, stamps and mem­o­ra­bilia that all bear wit­ness to the event­ful his­tory of the is­land and its de­vel­op­ment, cap­tur­ing an in­ter­ac­tive over­view of a coun­try at the very cross­roads of Europe, African and Asian cul­tures.

Dis­play­ing a wide col­lec­tion of old nau­ti­cal charts, model ships and nau­ti­cal in­stru­ments, hand-drawn maps, en­grav­ings and old paint­ings, the mu­seum re­traces the main episodes of dis­cov­ery of Mauritius and the Mas­carene is­lands, the suc­ces­sive oc­cu­pa­tion of the is­land un­til in­de­pen­dence, and the cre­ation of PortLouis and its evo­lu­tion up to the end of the 19th cen­tury. It also re­calls the en­graved mem­ory, with all the prim­i­tive stamps of Mauritius, in­clud­ing the fa­mous Post Of­fice, seen as a gem in the world of phi­lately.

Open­ing hours: 10:00 to 16:30. Closed on Sun­days and pub­lic hol­i­days En­trance: adult fee; re­duced rates for chil­dren, stu­dents, groups and fam­i­lies.

Opened in March 2018, the Bank of Mauritius Mu­seum lo­cated in the orig­i­nal premises of the coun­try’s cen­tral bank, on Sir Wil­liam New­ton Street, aims at show­cas­ing the his­tory of Mauritius as a three-cen­tu­ry­old re­gional financial cen­tre, through the evo­lu­tion of cur­rency and money at large.

The Mu­seum con­tains an im­pres­sive ar­ray of some 500 artefacts jointly col­lected by the Bank of Mauritius, the MCB Group Ltd and the HSBC (Mauritius) Ltd, with the con­tri­bu­tion of The Royal Mint and the ban­knotepro­duc­ing firm Thomas De La Rue.

The jour­ney starts with the Arab pe­riod (12th cen­tury). The col­lec­tion en­com­passes coins minted abroad by the colo­nial gov­ern­ments for use in Mauritius, and gold or sil­ver coins like Arab di­nars or Bri­tish

In­dian mo­hur, dat­ing from the re­gional trade dur­ing colo­nial times.

One of the cen­tre­pieces of the mu­seum’s col­lec­tion is an early 17th cen­tury Dutch Batavia – present-day Jakarta in In­done­sia – Tael owned by the BoM, a very rare coin as ref­er­enced in nu­mis­matic books and cat­a­logues. The mu­seum also traces back the of­fi­cial cur­ren­cies used be­fore the Mau­ri­tian Ru­pee was adopted in 1934. It dis­plays a range of of­fi­cial doc­u­ments from past bank­ing in­sti­tu­tions, as tes­ta­ments to the rich legacy of our bank­ing sys­tem.

The Mu­seum boasts state-of-the-art in­ter­ac­tive sys­tems and touch-en­abled screens for an im­mer­sive user ex­pe­ri­ence.

Open­ing hours: Week­days only, from 09:30 - 16:00. En­trance: free

Guided tours: avail­able to groups on re­quest.

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