What not to do when visiting museums, according to National Museum

September 6, 2022 - 6:25 PM
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National Museum visitor
Composite photo from the Facebook page of the National Museum of the Philippines posted on Nov. 9, 2012 (Facebook/nationalmuseumofthephilippines)

A government office reminded museum visitors to be “responsible” after an old post from the National Museum of the Philippines surfaced, warning the public about posing with exhibited artifacts.

The Biñan City Culture, History, Arts and Tourism Office (BCHATO) on Monday reshared a 2012 Facebook post of the National Museum appealing for visitors to refrain from posing with artifacts that could put it in danger.

The old post featured two pictures of a visitor standing very close to a sculpture on a pedestal.

“Please do not do this. You are putting the National Collection at risk when you pose next to the exhibited art and objects in this manner (to hide their identities we have effaced them). They are irreplaceable,” the National Museum said before.

“As responsible museum visitors and as concerned Filipinos, you must learn to regard the exhibitions with respect and not prop for your photographs. These are our shared heritage. Please help us enforce this attitude. Visitors who witness such bad behavior from other visitors are requested to tell them off,” it added.

The post has earned viral status, garnering 12,000 likes and 5,200 shares on the social networking platform.

In the reshare of the post, the Facebook page of BCHATO reminded the public: “We have to be responsibile museum visitors.”

The repost was accompanied by a double exclamation point emoji for emphasis.

Others suggested that the museum enclose valued items in a glass “to be sure.”

“Or strictly maintain a safe distance between objects and visitors. No amount of apology is enough in unwanted and irresponsible ‘tabig,'” a Facebook user said.

“Lagyan [niyo] ng harang,” another Filipino wrote.

“Korek, para may distance sa tao! Baka mabasag pa, sayang naman,” a different Pinoy agreed.

In 2019, the National Museum issued a museum etiquette reminder on Facebook. Part of it reads:

“Please help us look after our national patrimony by slowing down, viewing collections with more intent rather than touching them, taking part in interactive exhibitions and relishing the idea that you are amid heritage that has been passed on to us by our forebears.” 

It also reshared a report about a photo stunt of museum visitors in another country. The stunt led to the damage of an 800-year-old coffin.

“No photo is worth this and we thank our National Museum visitors for respecting our collective heritage on display by restraining themselves from turning them into props for their selfies…” the National Museum of the Philippines said in 2017.