Free night at mu­se­ums and half-price at aquar­ium

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

FOL­LOW­ING the suc­cess of its first event last year, Mu­seum Night V&A Wa­ter­front re­turns on Wed­nes­day, when mu­se­ums will of­fer free ad­mis­sion to vis­i­tors from 5pm un­til 10pm, and the Two Oceans Aquar­ium will have half price tick­ets.

When you think of the Wa­ter­front, mu­se­ums are prob­a­bly not the first things that spring to mind but there are sev­eral within its borders (and one ad­ja­cent).

Par­tic­i­pants in­clude Chavonnes Bat­tery Mu­seum, Robben Is­land Jetty Mu­seum, Iziko Mar­itime Cen­tre, the Spring­bok Ex­pe­ri­ence Rugby Mu­seum, and the Cape Med­i­cal Mu­seum.

The lat­ter is in the Old City Hospi­tal Com­plex in Portswood Road and its ex­hi­bi­tions cen­tre around the med­i­cal his­tory of the Cape and in­clude: a doc­tor’s con­sult­ing room (fur­nished with items dat­ing from the late 19th and early 20th cen­turies); a dis­pen­sary room (a typ­i­cal ex­am­ple of what could be found in a Cape dis­pen­sary in 1910);a dis­ease room (com­mem­o­rates the most promi­nent out­breaks of dis­eases through­out his­tory, which in­cluded scurvy, lep­rosy, Span­ish In­fluenza and the most re­cent, HIV/Aids); a hospi­tal ward (which por­trays a par­tial view of a typ­i­cal hospi­tal re­cov­ery ward from the early 20th cen­tury, in­clud­ing nurs- ing and mid­wifery equip­ment); and an op­er­at­ing theatre.

In ad­di­tion to its ex­hi­bi­tions, the mu­seum has an ac­tiv­ity room that allows chil­dren and school pupils to dis­cover more about the hu­man body, see, touch and feel plastic mod­els, and watch in­forma- tion videos on the hu­man im­mune sys­tem and HIV/Aids.

The Spring­bok Ex­pe­ri­ence is truly world class and, whether you’re a rugby fan or not, it’s an in­ter­ac­tive, ed­u­ca­tional, mov­ing, and fun way to spend a cou­ple of hours. The en­trance sim­u­lates a tun­nel lead­ing onto a rugby field, so you’re im­me­di­ately thrust into the spirit of the game. On the ground floor there are all sorts of en­er­getic ac­tiv­i­ties, although it is sug­gested that you be­gin the tour up­stairs.

Lin­ing the walls of the stair­well are dozens of fab­u­lous block­mounted ac­tion pho­to­graphs and quotes about rugby. Upon en­ter­ing the mu­seum you will en­counter more than 60 au­dio- vis­ual dis­plays, as well as mem­o­ra­bilia in glass cases that de­pict the his­tory of rugby in South Africa, as well as that of the Spring­boks. Other teams and rugby unions are rep­re­sented as well. Along the way are touch screens for an even more en­rich­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

The Iziko Mar­itime Cen­tre fea­tures an over­view of ship­ping in Cape Town, and the ear­li­est ex­ist­ing model of Table Bay har­bour, com­pleted in 1885 by pris­on­ers and warders of Break­wa­ter Prison, is one of the ex­hi­bi­tions.

Images de­pict­ing Table Bay from the 17th to 20th cen­turies give an idea of the de­vel­op­ment of the har­bour.

There is a col­lec­tion of ship mod­els and ob­jects associated with ship­ping in Cape Town, in par­tic­u­lar the era of mail ships. Large and medium-sized images sup­port the ex­hi­bi­tions, with the em­pha­sis on the Union-Cas­tle Line.

The Zeitz Mu­seum of Con­tem­po­rary Art Africa (MOCAA), which opens in Septem­ber, will host a pro­gramme out­side the mu­seum build­ing.

Build­ing on last year’s V&A Wa­ter­front Mu­seum Night event, at­ten­dees can ex­pect to see new sites, new ex­hi­bi­tions, more per­for­mances, and sched­uled walk­ing tours dur­ing the evening.

See www.mu­seum-night.co.za for more in­for­ma­tion, or email info@ wa­ter­front.co.za or call 021 408 7600.

PIC­TURE: SUP­PLIED

Explore the mu­se­ums of the V&A Wa­ter­front af­ter dark.

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