Culture and History of the MAVI

A cultural and historical encounter in Chile is the MAVI. The full name is Museo Arqueologico de Santiago which signifies that it is an archaeology museum. However, there are displays of art submitted on both a national and international level. The MAVI was inaugurated in April 2001 and has had quite the reputation. According to the museum’s website, there are a variety of exhibits and even some cultural objects such as clothing, hats, jewelry and baskets from Chile that date as far back as 1000 BC. Depending on when I would visit, I would have the opportunity to attend a guided tour, concert, and even a workshop within the Museum. The MAVI also has exhibits for temporary art, which would be interesting to observe and compare to the typical American art museums that I am used to. The MAVI also has plenty of cultural artifacts that would help me learn about Chile in a historical aspect. I would highly recommend the MAVI to my local Millikin students because the Museum seems like it has a lot to offer. It has a great location, great exhibits, and numerous opportunities for those who may not particularly be fond of museums. Overall, this would be one of the more memorable things to do in Chile.

The MAVI is quite interesting because while I am sure there is an American counterpart, there is no archaeology museum that also displays contemporary art while maintaining such a reputation. In an El Mostrador article, plenty of artists discuss the importance and significance of the museum and what it has done for the community, as well as the artists themselves. César Gabler is an artist who obtained the 2018 MAVI grant. He calls the package an “unbeatable stimulus” that has allowed him to focus on the development of his project.

The amount of money in required for Gabler’s project made me question the necessity and practicality of the MAVI. Obviously, the museum sees a lot of foot traffic and notable artwork, but I continued to wonder what the museum offered that made it worth investing in. After a lot of research and digging on the museum’s website, I found two main reasons that the museum should continue to function. The first main reason is that it brings in tourists like me. The arts are always enjoyable to experience, but it is a completely different experience when it is in a foreign place. If I were to physically be in Chile right now, I would want to make the most of my experience due to my limited time. These tourist destinations are a great way to draw in visitors so that they will not only spend money in the area, but also recommend the trip to others. The appreciation of culture is another aspect of the museum that gives it value. Learning about culture through the museums exhibits is not only educational, but also entertaining. In short, the MAVI is just one example that Santiago has a lot to offer for its visitors.

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