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The newest addition to the Museum scene in Quito is the Casa del Alabado Museum. Opened in April 2010, this private museum of precolumbian art displays pieces dating back to 4000 years BC in a restored colonial home, which alone would be worth the visit .
The museum exhibits take visitors on a journey through the spiritual and daily past of the country. The pieces display the indigenous Ecuadoran worldview, spirituality, thoughts and ways of life before the Spaniards arrived. The collection is organized in groupings such as, The World of the Ancestors, The Spiritual World of the Shaman, The World of the Elites. Labels are rich in detail and context, focusing on shaminism, transformation and parallel worlds, immersing the visitor in the world of the ancients. Works of wood, stone, bone, ceramic, and gold (the later in in the World of the Elites) abound.
The home, constructed in 1671, is one of the older buildings in Quito. Yet, the renovation combines the aesthetic of the old world and the new into a timeless gallery space. The transformed villa is well lit , showcasing the collection amassed by two private families. Smooth , seamless transitions from inside to courtyard spaces, with a vertical garden flanking one glass enclosed room, help insert the visitor into the world of the ancients.
An attached giftshop offers quality textiles, ceramics, leather work and jewelry from local artisans inspired by the museums collections. A small courtyard cafe offers refreshments.
Admission: $3. Audio tours available. Wheelchairs available 335 Cuenca Street (at Rocafuerte Street ) in Quito Old City, a block south of San Francisco Church.
Web Page in English