Sinhala (Sri Lanka)Tamil (Sri Lanka)

Our Heritage

Oil lamp


Providing a meaningful museum service to the public with knowledge

and inspiration.


Collect, acquire and register the cultural and natural heritage museum objects and specimense scientifically and

systematically and their protection for the evaluation, education

and entertainment of the public attractively.



The main intension of the Department of National Museums is to provide a perfect service to the nation.



The Colombo Museum as it was called at the beginning was
established on 1st January 1877. It founder was Sir William
Henry Gregory, the British Governor of Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
at the time. The Royal Asiatic Society (CB) was instrumental
in bringing to the notice of Gregory on his appointment as
Governor in 1872 the need for a public museum with much
difficulty the approval of the legislative council was obtained
within a year. The Architect of the Public Works Department,
J.G. Smither was able to prepare the plans for new structure
on Italian architectural style. The construction was completed
in 1876 and the Museum commenced it functions in the
following year.



Ministry of Buddhasasana, Religious And Cultural Affairs