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World Heritage Site Photography Exhibit On Display at Interior Department


Washington, D.C., is awash with museums. Some are easy to find and worth visiting, some are near-impossible to find and occasionally worth visiting. The Interior Department's museum is in the latter category.

Located just inside the Interior Department, which is bordered by "E" and "C" streets and 19th and 18th streets, the museum is tucked into a few small first-floor rooms. As Yogi Berra might say, you'd never know it was there unless you knew it was there. In truth, I find the "museum" much too small to do real justice to exhibits. I saw one on memorabilia left at the Vietnam War Memorial, and while interesting it merely piqued my interest and left me wanting more.

With its incredible holdings -- after all, the Interior Department oversees not just the National Park Service but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, just to name the most prominent agencies -- it'd be nice if a larger facility were available to showcase Interior's artworks and memorabilia.

That said, if you're in Washington you might enjoy a quick visit to the museum. The Interior Department has quite a bit of collections to display, with almost 6,000 objects of art, photography, minerals, ethnographic, archaeological, and natural history specimens.

Currently, the museum is featuring a photography exhibit called "World Heritage Sites in the USA: A Thirtieth Anniversary Celebration." The exhibit runs through January 9, 2009. The National Park Service has collaborated with the National Geographic Society and the Interior Museum to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the inscription of Yellowstone and Mesa Verde national parks on the World Heritage List by exhibiting photographs of all the World Heritage Sites that are within the boundaries of the United States.

There is no admission charge to view the museum, although you do have to pass through the ubiquitous metal detectors and show an ID. The museum is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on the third Saturday of each month from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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