The National Museum of Archeology and History is located in the historical centre of the Moldovan capital-city, Chisinau and encompases a variety of items which are representative for specific historical periods. The exhibitions consist of more that 300.000 objects and the items which are part of the national heritage of Moldova exceed half of this number.
Among the important vestiges which form the collections located at the National Museum of Archeology and History, there is something which is worth mentioning, more precisely a symbolic sculpture which reigns over the courtyard of the museum: a replica of the “Capitoline Wolf” statue located in Rome – the sculpture which was inspired from the legend that explained the foundation of Rome.
This institution is among the most important cultural edifices on the entire territory of the Republic of Moldova. The museum was founded near the end of 1983, under the order issued by the Ministry of Culture. According to this directive, the previous institution, which was based on the collections encountered at the Museum of Military Glory, was bound to change its profile, in the sense that the assortment of items on display was undergoing a process of expansion, enriching the collection of the museum.
Up until 2006, this cultural institution bore the name of the National Museum of History, but as it underwent several changes, more precisely having incorporated the Museum of Archeology, the name was changed to the National Museum of Archeology and History so as to reflect the structure of the new improved museum and the types of collections encountered here.
The museum is actually constantly changing in the sense that the collections are enriched by means of donations, acquisitions, scientific research and archeological diggings. In fact, there were two noteworthy periods in the “life and growth” of the museum due to the fact that the museum was enhanced by the large collections of items which were reassigned to this specific institution when the former museums which contained them had closed their doors. It was precisely this aspect that contributed extensively to the improvement of the National Museum of Archeology and History, but also to the diversity of the items exhibited.
The objects found within the museum are divided based on their origin and the timeframe in which they were used. The museum consists of various sections, each dedicated to a specific historical period, which taken as a whole retrace the evolution of Moldova, tracking the historical events of the past, up to the present. The need for such an institution is obvious: it allows individuals to gain knowledge about their history, having insight into their ancestors’ way of life, customs and traditions, as well as becoming aware of the events which had led to the way in which contemporary society presents itself.
The first permanent exhibition was established in 1991 and it was entitled “Pages of Centuries-old History of Moldova” in which the events and artifacts partaining to the historical period that stretched from the ancient times until the middle of the 20th century were presented to the public. The collection occupied three rooms and consisted of 900 pieces.
After a couple of year however the exhibition was reorganized so as to fill the entire first floor of the museum. The items of the collection were chronologically arranged in such a way so as to allure the visitor to attentivelly gaze at the items and retrace the history of Moldova from the Paleolithic Age until the 1950s.
The National Museum of Archeology and History also offers a variety of temporary exhibitions which are set up with the help of various individuals and organizations. The museum is interested in bringing awareness of the immense value that the collections inside the institution have and thus organizes various events which are meant to pinpoint this precise aspect. The majority of these provisional exhibits however are put together in collaboration with different museums or cultural institutions. These are either held at the premises of the museum or abroad, thus making the national museum and its collections known throughout the world.