Bangladesh National Museum, formally inaugurated on 17 November 1983, is one of the largest museums in South Asia. Dhaka Museum, formally inaugurated on 7 August 1913, was its forerunner. Bangladesh National Museum is devoted to archaeology, classical, decorative and contemporary art, history, natural history, ethnography and world civilization. Bangladesh National Museum has splendid collections which range in date from prehistory to the present time. Both in number and uniqueness, the Museum is extremely rich in stone, metal and wooden sculptures, in gold, silver and copper coins, in stone inscriptions and copperplates and in terracottas and other artifacts of archaeological interest.
The Museum has one of the largest collections of arms and armour in the Indian subcontinent. Quite fascinating are its collections of decorative art, especially of woodwork, metalwork and embroidered quilts. It has items of natural history and ethnographic interest. The Museum is noted for its collection of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin and works of other contemporary artists. The Museum also illustrates the freedom struggle culminating in the liberation of Bangladesh.