• Forsaken space colony on an exoplanet, tech regressed towards modern like level
  • Population level ~10 milion, by XXIst century standards rather affluent and well educated, but nothing breathtaking.
  • No strong ideological bent to over expose any event in particular, but it would be nice to present some pre-apocalyptic Earth history.
  • Please assume, regardless how unrealistic it may seem, that the decision would be done by gov who is generally reasonable with taxpayers money.

Would it make any sense to make such Earth history museum, and if yes is there any NATURAL choice what to present? [My only good idea is making some cheap props for kids, as adults would anyway be fine with digitalized archives, or am I missing something important?]

Clarification: I am NOT asking about particular choice, like after building new Taj-Mahal, painting its internal walls in style of Sistine Chapel whether to put inside Terracotta Army or a few mummies. The question is whether there is some general idea what would be clearly worthy to recreate and can not be appreciated just in digital form.

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    $\begingroup$ The Romans paid dearly for copies of Greek statues. (Some survived; most usually, extant ancient Greek statuary is a Roman copy.) Throughout the Renaissance and early modern age rich people paid dearly for copies of the Roman copies. We still make copies of famous statues; for example, there are dozens of copies of the ancient Capitoline She-Wolf throughout the Romance-speaking nations of Europe, usually complete with Renascentist twins. I'd think it's safe to say that recreations of famous sculptures will definitely be among the exhibits. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Mar 26 '19 at 21:37
  • $\begingroup$ There are a large number of museum types and they don't cover the really wacko stuff. Is your proposed museum a history museum that's trying to create a pre-apocalyptic history display? If so, what is the exact date of your apocalypse? What is the theme or purpose of the display? (It's never simply "to show stuff," It's usually quite specific.) $\endgroup$ – JBH Mar 27 '19 at 0:06
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP, :-) I had to read "the Romans paid dearly" several times until I realized you meant, "they paid through the nose for those expensive hummers!" rather than "the Greeks opened a can of whoop-*** on the Romans for copying their statues!" But I loved the journey. Cheers! $\endgroup$ – JBH Mar 27 '19 at 0:19
  • $\begingroup$ dioramas and reconstructions are often used in museums, especially when the real artifact would not survive display. $\endgroup$ – John Mar 27 '19 at 2:09
  • $\begingroup$ Remember that after a century or two your recreations will also have accumulated their own historical value. A good example of this is the room at the Victoria & Albert Museum that's full of Victorian plaster casts of classical sculptures, including some rather large ones like Trajan's Column. $\endgroup$ – Mike Scott Mar 27 '19 at 10:09

We already do basically what you're describing for artifacts that aren't yet lost:

The Luxor in Las Vegas is named after Luxor in Egypt and has a sphinx, pyramid, and a Nile River tour complete with a recreated tomb of King Tutankhamen as found in the Valley of the Kings.

The New York-New York Hotel and Casino features a miniature Statue of Liberty and a New York skyline to send its roller coaster past.

Disney World's Epcot theme park has various world landmarks scattered around various themed pavilions.

The 1893 Chicago World's Fair had an exact replica of a viking ship recovered from a Norwegian burial mound, and was sailed from Norway to America for the exhibition.


In short, of course it would make sense for them to recreate historical stuff. If we love recreating any and all landmarks and artifacts for fun when the originals still exist, why would we stop when the recreations are the only connection to them that we have left?

As for the natural choice: whatever the colonists want to see at the moment. Whether it's bringing an authentic longship across an ocean or making a tomb out of spray foam and cheap paint, the range of options are simply too large to contain in one museum, and interest will always be shifting. A periodic world's fair celebrating different areas of human history and achievement is more likely than static museums.

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  • $\begingroup$ Good point, that it was done on high scale, even when wasn't the only option left. $\endgroup$ – Shadow1024 Mar 27 '19 at 6:03

There is a very real and non-nostalgic reason to build an Earth museum on a fallen colony world...

The exhibits, no matter how primitively rendered, will serve future generations as an indication of what is possible. Imagine how much easier the advancement of science would be if we had just known which scientific challenges could be conquered (flight, x-rays, computers, and space-flight) and which ones were still out of reach, even to our advanced ancestors (immortality, FTL-travel, telepathy).

Even the reproductions of famous Earth landmarks would be demonstrations of architectural techniques which might have already been lost or might later be lost should the colony continue to fall backwards technologically.

A museum of our past accomplishments may someday serve as a road map to the achievements we must reacquire.

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