SINGAPORE’S GOLDEN JUBILEE

Crowds throng ArtScience Museum

Overwhelming response to free entry, queue closes hours ahead

For the second day yesterday, the ArtScience Museum's offer of free entry to all its exhibitions drew a huge turnout, forcing it to close its waiting line a few hours before schedule.

At one point, it was estimated that it would take five hours to get in. Bottles of water were even handed out to those willing to stay in line.

The museum, which is hosting an exhibition celebrating the 170th year anniversary of The Straits Times, decided to open its doors for free from last Friday to today to celebrate Singapore's Golden Jubilee.

While there is no charge for ST's Singapore STories: Then, Now, Tomorrow exhibition, other shows at the museum, including one on animation, can cost up to $15 for a Singapore resident.

ONE IMPORTANT STRAND OF THE SINGAPORE STORY

This year, Singapore celebrates SG50 and we’re proud of how far we’ve come. And on your 170th birthday, I’m sure you are also proud of how far The Straits Times has come. It’s a remarkable achievement to reach such a grand old age.

If you want to know what happened in Singapore or in the region around us, The Straits Times is an indispensable place to start – because it has reported news reliably and objectively over the years, and it has done so through Singaporean eyes, helping Singaporeans make sense of the world and our place in it. And you can feel it from the front pages and the photographs in the exhibition – how much the world has changed, how much we in Singapore have changed, and how The Straits Times has changed.

SoThe Straits Times story isone important strand of the Singapore story. 

PRIME MINISTER LEE HSIEN LOONG, speaking at the opening of the ST170 exhibition at the ArtScience Museum on July 15. The Singapore STories: Then, Now, Tomorrow exhibition, which marks both the newspaper’s 170th anniversary and Singapore’s Golden Jubilee, is free and will run until Oct 4

At about 3.30pm yesterday, the ArtScience Museum, which opens until 7pm, took to its social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter to inform the public that it had closed the queue.

"Due to an overwhelming public response to our offer of free entry to ArtScience Museum, we are at full capacity and the queue... has now been closed at Hermes. It is a 2.5-hour waiting time from that point," it said.

The museum closed its queue at the same time on Friday. It also warned visitors yesterday morning that the waiting time might be long.

Many replied to the museum's posts, requesting that the free entry period be extended.

Mr Arthur Ong also praised the museum's handling of the crowd: "Kudos to Marina Bay Sands and ArtScience Museum for doing good crowd control. If too many people are let into the museum it won't be enjoyable as you cannot view the many exhibits properly."

But some expressed their disappointment at not being able to go to the museum because of the long queue. Said Ms Daliah Daud: "My kids are very young and can't wait that long."

The Straits Times' exhibition, Singapore STories: Then, Now, Tomorrow, also marks Singapore's Golden Jubilee. It will run and remain free until Oct 4.

Last Wednesday, the first-ever issue of the broadsheet, an eight-page edition printed using a hand-operated press on July 15, 1845, was transferred from the National Library Board's rare collection section to take centre stage at the exhibition.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 09, 2015, with the headline 'Crowds throng ArtScience Museum'. Print Edition | Subscribe