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Minas Gerais is famous for its mineral and metal deposits and the MM Gerdau - Museum of Mines and Metal (MM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal) honors the state’s mining industry and the people that make it possible. The importance of mining to the state is reflected in the name Minas Gerais, which means General Mines in Portuguese. Visit the museum to discover the early beginnings of statewide mining, its evolution, diversity and social, cultural and economic impact.
The museum is set in a magnificent neoclassical-style palace known locally as the Prédio Rosa (Pink Building). Erected in 1897, the building was once home to administrative departments such as the Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of Education. It opened as a museum in 2010 after a redevelopment that saw cutting-edge exhibits blended into the opulent 19th-century décor. Before entering, take a moment to admire its façade, which includes arcades, balustrades, columns and pilasters.
There are 18 rooms and 44 attractions spread over three floors. Your visit starts with a tour of diamond, gold, iron, zinc and other types of mines via an interactive map. The Hall of Mines takes you on virtual elevator ride deep down into the Morro Velho Mine in Nova Lima. Understand the lifecycle of a mine and see different varieties of minerals displayed in holographic forms.
On the upper floor you’ll find thematic rooms dedicated to the compounds and uses of metals. Play around with a hands-on periodic table and manipulate different metallic elements. Take a test to find out how much metal is present in your body at the Vale Quanto Pesa exhibit. See how huge sheets of iron are transported and marvel at enormous stainless steel sculptures.
The museum stands on the west side of Liberty Square, in downtown Belo Horizonte. It forms part of the Circuito Cultural Praça da Liberdade, which is a group of 12 museums and cultural venues spread out in the downtown region. Several public bus lines stop at the square.
You can visit the Museum of Mines and Metal from Tuesday to Sunday and admission is free. A list of events, such as concerts and lectures, is available on the museum’s official website.
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