The newly opened Hong Kong Maritime Museum is a non-profit educational institution that was founded by Hong Kong’s shipping community and the Hong Kong Government. The museum is located at Central Pier 8.
This museum illustrates how China, Asia and other Western people have contributed to the development of ships, boats, maritime explorations, naval warfare and trade. It also displays global trends and provides an account of the Hong Kong’s growth into a major port in the world. The museum includes special and semi-permanent exhibitions, interactive displays, a museum shop, educational events and a café.
The museum was first opened in 2004 in Murray house. Murray house is a 19th century building that was moved to Stanley, along the southern coast of Hong Kong island. During this time the museum was initially divided into two galleries, an ancient gallery and a modern gallery. More than 500 items that include some models of modern and ancient ships, ceramics, paintings, shipping documents and trade goods were displayed. One of the museums highlights was a 2,000 year-old model boat made of pottery that came from the Han Dynasty. Another great treasure is a 59 foot ink painted scroll.
The ancient gallery portrayed the great fortunes of Chinese shipping during the dynastic and ancient times. In this museum, there was also an illustration of how China’s overseas neighbors all shaped the marine history of Asia and other regions. It also covered the amazing developments in ship design and the specialization that has transformed the face of the world’s shipping industry.
Between 2005 and 2011, Hong Kong maritime museum attracted around 35,000 visitors each year. Due to the museum’s size and location, it had to move to Central Pier 8 in October, 2009.
Central Pier 8 and Galleries
This place is filled with Hong Kong’s interesting cultural heritage. The galleries are divided into three well-organized levels. On the lower floor visitors receive an introduction to the ancient Chinese culture. The museum collection has more than 5,000 items. On the main floor there are large windows facing the harbor that are framed by a beautiful figurehead. This offers a spectacular view that of the sea.
Part of the collection includes a painted scroll called Pacifying the South China Sea. Painted in 19th century, the colorful images tell the story of piracy and its decline in southern China. You will also get to see an interactive wall display that allows visitors to digitally zoom on certain areas of the scroll and then read sections of a related Chinese text. In another room of Hong Kong Maritime Museum, a 360-degree screen animates parts of the scroll, into an audio accompaniment.
There are more than fifty interactive touch screens in English and Chinese; this allows visitors to learn more about the items in the museum’s collection. The museum also includes a gift shop.