VIEWING IN MAURITIUS"
Moka is an independent museum featuring antiques furniture, old lithographs and other
objects from private collections. There are also public museums with collections of
natural history, naval, historical and literary items, which come under the aegis of the
This was set up in
1880 to establish and incorporate a Public Institute, a Public Museum and a Public
Library, for the purpose of promoting the general study and cultivation of the various
branches and departments of Arts, Sciences, Literature and Philosophy and for the
instruction and recreation of the people.
AND NAVAL MUSEUM
is at Mahebourg, housed in an old French country
house, built around 1722 and itself having an interesting history. It was in this building
that the two wounded commanders of the English and French squadrons, the Admirals
Willoughby and Duperre were treated during the naval battle of Grand Port in August 1810.
The museum was opened in 1950.
Its collection of
naval relics was created in 1939 and located in Port Louis until 1942. Also on display are
pieces of furniture and objects of local historical interest, old maps, stamps, engravings
and water colours depicting the scenery and customs of Mauritius in the past.
The only Memorial
museum which exist in Mauritius is the
ROBERT EDWARD HART MUSEUM
Souillac. This charming seaside bungalow built out of coral was the home of Mauritian
poet, Robert Edward Hart (1891-1954). It was opened in 1967 and contains a collection of
the poets memorabilia.
The treasure of the
Institute lies in its library, a collection of books begun with the bequest of Sir Virgil
Naz, an imminent Mauritian lawyer, and formally opened in 1903. It is housed above the
Natural History Museum, reached by a stairway at the back of the building, and is free and
open to the public.
In 1905, a
reference library of works of local interest on the Mascarenes, Madagascar and the Indian
Ocean was created. This collection has been added to regularly and can be studied in the
room at the back of the lending-library section. The library of the Royal Society of Arts
and Sciences, stored in the building since 1885, is also open for study. In 1947 and
Oriental Language section was also added.
The NATIONAL ARCHIVES
once stored in Port
Louis, are now housed in conditions not conducive to their preservation on an industrial
estate at Coromandel.