Tourist Attraction in Addis Ababa: National Museum of Ethiopia
The National Museum of Ethiopia (NME), also referred to as the Ethiopian National Museum, is a national museum in Ethiopia. It is located in the capital, Addis Ababa, near the Addis Ababa University's graduate school. The museum houses Ethiopia's artistic treasures. It contains many precious local archaeological finds such as the fossilized remains of early hominids, the most famous of which is "Lucy," the partial skeleton of a specimen of Australopithecus afarensis. Recently added to the basement gallery is a display on Selam, found between 2000 and 2004. This archaic fossil is estimated to date to 3.3 million years ago. In 1936, the concept of a museum was first introduced in Ethiopia when an exhibition was opened, displaying ceremonial costumes donated by the Solomonic dynasty and their close associates. The current NME grew from the establishment of the Institute of Archaeology, which was founded in 1958. The institute was founded to promote and facilitate the archaeological research mission in the northern part of Ethiopia by French archaeologists. The museum started its activities by exhibiting objects from these excavation missions. With the establishment of the Ethiopian Cultural Heritage Administration in 1976, the idea came up to open a National Museum, which was supported by the Government. The NME began to operate under the National Act which provides for the protection and preservation of antiquities, and has legislative authority governing all sites and monuments throughout the country of Ethiopia. Later, the National Museum diversified its activities and organised into three working department, i.e. the conservation department, the documentation department and the exhibition and research department.