MADRID - Spain's National Archaeological Museum reopens to the public last Tuesday after a massive six-year overhaul that aims to offer a state-of-the-art space for its collection of ancient artefacts.
The redesign of one of Madrid's largest museums, housing items from prehistoric times until the 19th century, began in 2008 and cost 65.2 million euros ( S$113.2 million).
It has incorporated new audiovisual displays, maps and graphic panels to give greater context to the objects on display, which include Greek vases, Roman mosaics and ancient sacred artefacts.
The collection is spread around two interior courtyards now bathed in natural light thanks to new larger windows.
In the first room visitors will be greeted be two giant walls of images projected onto 350 small screens.
"The idea is to tell the history of the people who lived in the geographical area we now call Spain," said museum director Andres Carretero Perez.
"We did not want to create an exhibition for scholars, we wanted it to be accessible for the greatest number of people and not be dry like history books."
A total of 13,000 objects are on display in 40 rooms in a neoclassical building, in the heart of Madrid, which the museum shares with the National Library.
"All of these objects are important because they were chosen from the 1.25 million objects that are stored at the museum," said Perez.
'The Lady of Elche'
One of the star attractions is a celebrated Celto-Iberian bust from the fifth century BC known as "The Lady of Elche" depicting the bust of a woman wearing elaborate headgear.