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Justice and Police Museum (Sydney, Australia)

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Cnr Albert and Phillip Streets / Circular Quay / NSW 2000 / AUSTRALIA / Tel: 02 9252 1144 / Fax: 02 9252 4860.

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      19.05.2009 17:54
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      A hidden gem well worth a visit- intellectually stimulating

      The Justice and Police Museum occupies a prime building in Sydney near the ferries in Circular Quay. It is overlooked by many visitors as Sydney has so many attractions for tourists but I would say it's a key museum if you want to understand more about how modern day Australia has come about regarding creating a new society and establishing its values. The building was connected to Sydney's police and court system in the late 19th century and has been restored to what it would have looked like in the 1890s. The conservation of the building is sympathetic and evocative, it is worth visiting the building for the atmosphere- lots of cells and spikes among other things. The exhibits include a court which has a gloomy Victorian feel, a reminder of how close Australia was to Britain in it Dickensian feel. There is also a recreated police charge room and spooky cells. There is also a remembrance space for police officers killed whilst serving. It acts as a focal point for the community and is a moving tribute. There is also a gallery of faces of Sydney's hoodlums as well as a gruesome collection of weapons used during the last century. The narratives focus on specific crimes that were infamous in their day- from murders to kidnappings. The special exhibition programme is worth noting as they have tackled some tough subjects even-handedly, such as drugs where they worked with drug users and the medical professions to research the content. Despite the serious content, the museum is a fresh with a good design aesthetic and good information for visitors. It is worth half a day visit on an extended stay in Sydney. Its location is very easy and can be combined with a ferry trip for a full exciting day of sightseeing in the city.

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