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Discover the origins of Singapore’s melting pot of culture

The Quays

1 Empress Pl

The Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM)  is housed within what was previously known as the Empress Place Building. The building was initially built to be a courthouse, but instead became offices for government departments located in the adjacent Arts House. It was used as government offices until the late 1980s, and is best known as the Registry of Births and Deaths, the Citizenship Registry, and the Immigration Department. The building was gazetted as a national monument on 14 February 1992.

Before making the Empress Place Buildings its forever home, ACM was located at the Old Tao Nan School building, where the Peranakan Museum now stands. On 16 September 2014, the museum was named the top museum in Singapore and ranked ninth in Asia by TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice awards. It was the only Singapore museum ranked among Asia’s top 10 museums.

The museum started off focusing only on Chinese civilisations, but later expanded its collection to other parts of Asia. Today, ACM’s collection consists of objects and ethnological materials collected in Southeast Asia, such as crafts, tools and costumes of the Malay and other indigenous Southeast Asian cultures. You can also find collections from West and South Asia. All of these collections aim to highlight the roots of Singapore’s different ethnic groups in the various cultures and civilisations of Asia.

Do check out what are the various events and exhibitions in the museum if you are interested in more than just the collections the museum has to offer.

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