Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/76

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66
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

the Musée Guimet. It is a pity that the material from Africa and the South seas now at the Louvre is not sent to the Trocadéro and incorporated in the collections there under charge of Dr. Hamy. The Trocadéro is a beautiful building, and the collections it contains are of great importance, but it is not adapted to their suitable display. Dr. Hamy has made the best of his circumstances,

PSM V41 D076 Henry H Giglioli.jpg
Prof. Henry H. Giglioli.

and his cases and wall trophies (usually an abomination in a museum, but here a necessity) are true works of art. The hall devoted to African specimens is wonderfully fine, and the collections from South America, Mexico, and Yucatan are quite as good as any in Europe. One feature of this museum is that it contains a fair representation of the ethnography of Europe —  a thing exceedingly rare. The Musée Guimet embodies a brilliant idea, the illustration of the world's religions. It grew out of an expedition sent to Asia to study the religions of Japan and India. The collections belong to the state and occupy a building constructed for the purpose and beautifully arranged. The display halls are erected about a triangular court, and the two in front are connected by a rotunda. This contains a valuable library composed entirely of works devoted to religions. So far only Buddhism is represented with any degree of fullness. The arrangement is geographical. The religions of India, southeastern Asia, and China occupy the first floor of one gallery, while in the upper floor are objects illustrating the worships of ancient Greece and Rome. In a second wing are the Japanese series on the first floor and religious objects from ancient Egypt on the second. The third hall is as yet largely unoccupied. The chief criticism that one might make of this museum is, that the specimens are all choice pieces; there is little to show the common idols or the mode in which worship is conducted. On the walls in the galleries and the rotunda are many paintings by Félix Regamy representing sacred places, temples, and religious ceremonies.