Wednesday, June 3, 2015

* Museums of Viña del Mar


 Museum of Archaeology and History Francisco Fonck


 

 
Francisco Fonck Museum, Viña del Mar, Chile
 Genuine Moai at Francisco Fonck Museum - Photo: visitevinadelmar.cl
      Founded on November 25, 1937, its name commemorates the remarkable physician, naturalist, geologist, anthropologist and philanthropist of German origin Francisco Adolfo Fonck (1830- 1912) who also made great contributions in the field of archeology. 
It can be said that this is a great- little museum. Small for its facilities compared to other major institutions around the World but very comprehensive due to the valuable collections it holds, besides the display cases, infrastructure and exterior are always kept in excellent conditionAccording to its own definition, the mission of the Francisco Fonck Museum of Vina del Mar is to deliver a summary of the Chilean Prehistory, Ethnography and Natural History. Installed since 1996 in which was a large mansion, known as the Delano family residence.

       Notable is the collection about the Rapa Nui culture (inhabitants of Easter Island), beginning with an authentic Moai located in the garden, brought to the continent in 1951  which along with  those on display at the British Museum in London are the only ones outside of the island.  Until 1988, the Moai was installed in La Marina Avenue, when it is moved to its current place of exhibition.  The majority of the display are archaeological and ethnographic objects gathered through much of his life by Mr. Fritz Felbermayer, Austrian citizen resident in the neighboring city of Valparaiso, Felbermayer was a faithful lover and collaborator of the Rapa Nui people. It is said that Francisco Fonck Museum has one of the most complete exhibitions on Rapa Nui outside Easter Island.

     Its exhibition halls also include the pre-European cultures of Continental Chile such as Patagonia, populated by the Tehuelches, Patagones or "Aonikenk" as they called themselves, also the Onas or Selknam, original inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego, the Alacalufes, canoeists of the southern channels and the Yaganes, who settled the southernmost tip of the Americas.  The pieces collected also consist of items like tools and pottery belonging to the pre-Columbian cultures of Central Chile. Something that draws much attention in the Norte Chico Section of the Museum (Small North or Near North), are the "Litos Geometricos de Huentelauquen", stone carved objects of great geometric precision whose exact function is still unknown, but could be linked to rituals and funeral issuesThere is also a section dedicated to the Norte Grande (Big North or Far North), of great archaeological wealth, recognized worldwideThe museum also houses a collection of silverwork belonging to the Mapuche ethnic group besides a wide collection of Peruvian pre-Columbian pottery.  In the area of Natural Sciences, you can see a complete display of Entomology, very interesting and with lots of Chilean species. Here you can also see the fauna of Central Chile and other parts of the country, from the Andes Mountains to the deep seabed.
Address:                 784,   4 Norte St., Viña del Mar
Visiting Hours:    Monday 10:00 to 14:00 and 15:00 to 18:00 hrs.
                                   Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 to 18:00 hrs.
                                    Sunday 10:00 to 14:00 hrs.