PENANG Hill’s latest draw - the Owl Museum - will be open to the public by next week.
Touted to be the first museum dedicated to owl-themed art and craft in South East Asia, the 2,500sq ft attraction is part of the Cliff Cafe which is a triple-storey steel and timber complex that also houses a food court and souvenir stalls.
The Cliff Cafe is managed by Ferringhi Frontier.
Its director Adrian Soh said the date of the opening had yet to be finalised as the workers were putting the finishing touches on the displays.
“Some of the items for display are still coming in from all over the world. Among the interesting exhibits is a blue ceramic owl with gold and platinum accents from Uruguay.
“There is also an owl made entirely from natural items like twigs and tree barks. We got it from London,” he said when met at the museum.
Soh also points to an old toy that is more than two decades old. It’s in mint condition and still in its original plastic casing.
The museum features a collection of over 1,000 rare and unique arts and craft artifacts collected from more than 20 countries.
The owls are made from myriad materials such as wood, stone, metal, glass, clay, plastic, buffalo horn, seashells, beans, plant fibres, crystal, porcelain, earthenware, paper and recycled materials.
Special collections on loan from private collectors are also on display.
So why owls?
Soh explained that the “silent master hunters of the night” are a source of deep fascination for humans.
He said there are more than 200 species of owls in the world and 17 were in Malaysia.
He said many animals were considered before the owl was finally chosen as a theme for the museum.
“Besides being unique, cute and adorable, owls - with their huge, forward-facing eyes and expressive faces - are the most anthropomorphic (human-like) of all birds.
“Our fascination is recorded and reflected in the huge number of artistic representations of owls in the form of carvings, sculptures, paintings and tapestries throughout history.
“The Owl Museum is dedicated to introducing the fascinating world of owls and their cultural relations to humans while dispelling commonly-held superstitions and misconceptions about them.
“We hope to spark public awareness of nature conservation issues such as the destruction of forest habitats and the endangerment of animals, plants and of course - owls,” he said.
Soh said the museum was conceived as a fun destination for the whole family.
“In line with our commitment to enriching the local arts scene, the Owl Museum also features art pieces specially commissioned from local artists.
“Visitors can also purchase souvenirs including fashion accessories, fridge magnets and home decorative items.
“Those who have owls they either want to donate or sell can approach the museum,” he said.
The museum will be open from 9am to 6pm daily. Admission is RM10 for adults and free for children under 12. Senior citizens aged 60 and above are entitled to 50 percent off.