Changi Museum ranks as top museum in Singapore

Changi Museum ranks as top museum in Singapore
PHOTO: TripAdvisor

SINGAPORE - Changi Museum has snagged the top spot in TripAdvisor's Traveller's Choice awards under the 'Top 10 Museums in Singapore' category for the second year running.

According to the travel website, Changi Museum is also the only winner from Singapore to be featured in the Asia list. It is ranked 16th in Asia, moving up five spots from its previous ranking of 21 in Asia last year.

With new, modern museums like the National Gallery and ArtScience Museum taking centrestage in Singapore's arts and cultural scene, Changi Museum's win is a nod to conservation efforts in the country.

The current museum was opened on Feb 15, 2001, 59 years after Singapore fell to the Japanese in 1942 during World War II. The museum had been relocated after the old Changi Prison Chapel and Museum, which was built in 1988, was cleared to make way for the expansion of Changi Prison.

The museum was built to recognise the grit and suffering of the prisoners-of-war (POW) who were interned in Changi Prison during the Japanese Occupation. Audio-visual presentations and letters of these prisoners' accounts fill the small exhibition space, a stark reminder of the dark times during WWII.

The exhibition also features artefacts from the war, such as old uniforms and personal belongings of the prisoners.

A key highlight of visiting the museum has to be viewing the replica of the Changi Murals.

POW Bombardier Stanley Warren began painting murals to draw strength from his faith, in a small room at Block 151 Roberts Barracks, while he was incarcerated by the Japanese. The barracks was also known as St Luke's Chapel.

Completing the murals was a mammoth task as resources were scarce in the prison. However, the other prisoners put themselves at great risk to help Warren acquire the most ingenious tools to finish his work, such as camouflage paint, oil paint and even chalk.

Today, the original murals are closed to the public as the barracks are part of a protected military ground. Visitors can visit the full replicas at the museum.

Here is the full list of the top 10 museums in Singapore according to Travellers' Choice:

1. The Changi Museum

2. The Intan

Photo: The Intan

3. Singapore City Gallery

Photo: The Straits Times

4. Peranakan Museum

5. Asian Civilisations Museum

6. National Gallery Singapore

7. Chinatown Heritage Centre

Photo: The Straits Times

8. National Museum of Singapore

9. Singapore Philatelic Museum

Photo: Berita Harian

10. ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands

debwong@sph.com.sg

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