Things to see at the National Museum (that aren't the Giant Sloth)

Don't get us wrong. The Giant Sloth is a must-see, but there's so much more to experience at the Museum! There is an extensive taxidermy and natural history section on the top floor, and the minerals section is golden, but here are some of our favourites:

1. Austin Rolls Royce Princess Motorcar

This vehicle has the license plate PR1 and it was used by Guyana's first Prime Minister, Forbes Burnham during his time in office. Some reports also indicate that it was also used by Guyana's second Prime Minister, Dr. Ptolemy Reid. Look out for the special PM crest on the front of the vehicle!

2. Goodwill Moon Rock & Flag

In 1972, after Apollo XVII returned to Earth, Richard Nixon made the decision to distribute preserved fragments of moon rock to 135 foreign heads of state and to the 50 U.S. states. Guyana was included in this distribution. The moon rock can be found at the Museum, along with a flag of Guyana that was taken to the Moon on the Apollo Voyage. Note: this is located in the section that often has rotating exhibits and may not always be on display.

3. Maps of Guyana dating back to 1595

The Museum's Map Room holds a collection of centuries-old maps of Guyana / British Guiana / Demerara / Essequibo. This includes a 1595 Walter Raleigh Map, and maps used as reference in British Guiana border disputes with Venezuela. There is also one in 1654 that identified "Lake Parime", which explorers believed was the location of El Dorado - the lost city of gold. There are number of other maps that give you an idea of how Guyana was perceived in a cartographic sense over the years.

4. The Walls & Ceiling

The entrance to the Museum, the Map Room and the Giant Sloth Exhibit all have brilliant floor to ceiling paintings. The Map room is a true work of art and you'll see one fluid work featuring the Amerindians, European settlers arriving, the Victoria Regia Lily, and the night sky with various constellations. You'll almost be sorry that the maps on the walls hide some of the image!

5. Model of Georgetown + 1945 Image of Great Fire aftermath

Known as the 'Great Fire' and 'Black Friday', this 1945 fire decimated 23 buildings and damaged several more in the financial capital of Georgetown. Buildings in portions of Main Street, Water Street, Company Path and Church Street were all destroyed or severely damaged. This included the Museum that was previously there, and countless valuable items were lost. The Museum has a panoramic image of the aftermath of the fire, and a model of the area which gives you a clear idea of how devastating the fire was to such a central part of Georgetown.

There is also a model of the Museum building before the fire. The Society that originally formed the Museum was known as the Royal Agricultural and Commercial Society (RACS), and the abbreviation can be seen on the outside of the current building.


We've also compiled this list into a handy image below and an easily downloadable PDF right here.