For the second day yesterday, the ArtScience Museum's offer of free entry to all its exhibitions drew a huge turnout, forcing it to close its waiting line a few hours before schedule.
At one point, it was estimated that it would take five hours to get in. Bottles of water were even handed out to those willing to stay in line.
The museum, which is hosting an exhibition celebrating the 170th year anniversary of The Straits Times, decided to open its doors for free from last Friday to today to celebrate Singapore's Golden Jubilee.
While there is no charge for ST's Singapore STories: Then, Now, Tomorrow exhibition, other shows at the museum, including one on animation, can cost up to $15 for a Singapore resident.
At about 3.30pm yesterday, the ArtScience Museum, which opens until 7pm, took to its social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter to inform the public that it had closed the queue.
"Due to an overwhelming public response to our offer of free entry to ArtScience Museum, we are at full capacity and the queue... has now been closed at Hermes. It is a 2.5-hour waiting time from that point," it said.
The museum closed its queue at the same time on Friday. It also warned visitors yesterday morning that the waiting time might be long.
Many replied to the museum's posts, requesting that the free entry period be extended.
Mr Arthur Ong also praised the museum's handling of the crowd: "Kudos to Marina Bay Sands and ArtScience Museum for doing good crowd control. If too many people are let into the museum it won't be enjoyable as you cannot view the many exhibits properly."
But some expressed their disappointment at not being able to go to the museum because of the long queue. Said Ms Daliah Daud: "My kids are very young and can't wait that long."
The Straits Times' exhibition, Singapore STories: Then, Now, Tomorrow, also marks Singapore's Golden Jubilee. It will run and remain free until Oct 4.
Last Wednesday, the first-ever issue of the broadsheet, an eight-page edition printed using a hand-operated press on July 15, 1845, was transferred from the National Library Board's rare collection section to take centre stage at the exhibition.
This article was first published on August 9, 2015.
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