The Museo Nacional de Antropología (National Museum of Anthropology) is the most visited museum in Mexico. It contains significant archaeological and anthropological artefacts from the pre-Columbian heritage of Mexico, such as the Piedra del Sol (the Stone of the Sun – Aztec calendar stone) and the 16th-century Aztec statue of Xochipilli.
MNA was established in 1964 and now it is the national museum of Mexico, visited yearly by 2 million visitors. It is located in the area between Paseo de la Reforma and Calle Mahatma Gandhi within Chapultepec Park in Mexico City.
The museum houses a number of significant exhibits, dedicated not only (but mainly) to pre-Columbian civilisations, but also to contemporary rural Mexican life. It also includes various objects from the world’s great cultures.
Among the exhibits are such gems as the Stone of the Sun, giant stone heads of the Olmec civilisation that were found in the jungles of Tabasco and Veracruz, treasures recovered from the Maya civilisation at the Sacred Cenote at Chichen Itza, a replica of the lid from Pacal’s sarcophagus at Palenque, and ethnological displays of contemporary rural Mexican life. The museum also has a model of the former Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, the site of which is now occupied by the central area of modern-day Mexico City itself. It hosts visiting exhibits, generally focusing on other of the world’s great cultures. Past exhibits have focused on ancient Iran, Greece, China, Egypt, Russia, and Spain.
Besides its splendid collection of exhibits, the museum can also boast impressive architecture with exhibition halls surrounding a patio with a huge pond and a vast square concrete umbrella supported by a single slender pillar around which splashes an artificial cascade.
The halls of the museum are ringed by gardens, many of which contain outdoor exhibits. The museum has 23 rooms for exhibits and covers an area of 79,700 square metres (almost 8 hectares).