Museo Nacional de Antropología

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This article is about the Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico. For the museum in Spain, see Museo Nacional de Antropología (Madrid).
"National Museum of Anthropology" redirects here. For other national anthropological museums, see National Museum of Anthropology (disambiguation).
Musee National Anthropologie-Entree.jpg
Museum's front entrance.
Established 1964
Location Mexico City, Mexico
Coordinates 19°25′34″N 99°11′10″W / 19.426°N 99.186°W / 19.426; -99.186
Type Archaeology museum
Visitors 2 million/year
Public transit access Auditorio Station (line 7)

The Museo Nacional de Antropología (MNA, or National Museum of Anthropology) is a national museum of Mexico. It is the most visited museum in Mexico. Located in the area between Paseo de la Reforma and Calle Mahatma Gandhi within Chapultepec Park in Mexico City, the museum contains significant archaeological and anthropological artifacts from the pre-Columbian heritage of Mexico, such as the Stone of the Sun (or the Aztec calendar stone) and the 16th-century Aztec statue of Xochipilli.


Designed in 1964 by Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, Jorge Campuzano and Rafael Mijares, it has an impressive architecture with exhibition halls surrounding a patio with a huge pond and a vast square concrete umbrella supported by a single slender pillar (known as "el paraguas", Spanish for "the umbrella") around which splashes an artificial cascade. The halls 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 meters (almost 8 hectares) or 857,890 square feet (almost 20 acres).


Opened in 1964 by President Adolfo López Mateos, the museum has a number of significant exhibits, such as the Stone of the Sun (depicted below), giant stone heads of the Olmec civilization that were found in the jungles of Tabasco and Veracruz, treasures recovered from the Maya civilization, at the Sacred Cenote at Chichen Itza, a replica of the sarcophagal lid from Pacal's tomb at Palenque and ethnological displays of contemporary rural Mexican life. It also has a model of the location and layout of the former Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, the site of which is now occupied by the central area of modern-day Mexico City itself.

The permanent exhibitions on the ground floor cover all pre-Columbian civilizations located on the current territory of Mexico as well as in the southwestern states of the USA. They are classified as North, West, Maya, Mexican Gulf, Oaxaca, Mexico, Toltec, and Teotihuacan. The permanent expositions at the first floor show the culture of Native American population of Mexico since the Spanish colonization.

The museum also 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.

Original Aztec Stone of the Sun, available for display at the museum


There is another institution, the National Museum of History which is located in the nearby Chapultepec Castle, but it is a different museum altogether. The former focuses on pre-Columbian Mexico and modern day Mexican ethnography. The latter focuses on the Viceroyalty of New Spain and its progress towards modern Mexico, up to the 20th century.

However, the official administrative body that manages both museums (and many other national and regional museums) is the National Institute of Anthropology and History (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia).


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Coordinates: 19°25′34″N 99°11′10″W / 19.426°N 99.186°W / 19.426; -99.186