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Metropolitan Museum Unveils New Adventure Travel Program

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Travel with the Met program recently announced a series of new trips known as Met Adventures. Led by Museum curators and educators, Travel with the Met is designed to appeal to art enthusiasts; and with Met Adventures, travelers will experience a more active itinerary and venture off the beaten path.

Met Adventures kicks off in 2014 with three trips, beginning with “Nomads & Buddhas: Artistic Traditions of Mongolia.” Led by Denise Leidy, Curator in the Department of Asian Art, Met travelers will explore Mongolia’s rugged landscapes, nomadic past, and Buddhist legacy beginning in the capital of Ulan Bator, where they will see rare examples of Mongolian Buddhist art including works by the renowned monk and sculptor Zanabazar (1635–1723). The group will then travel on to remote sites in Murun, where they will investigate ancient burials and nomadic megaliths known as “deer stones.” Other highlights include a hike along the shores of Mongolia’s largest lake and two nights spent sleeping outdoors in a traditional ger tent. This adventure will end at the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg with viewings of the unparalleled seventh- to fourth-century B.C. nomadic gold collection assembled under Peter the Great in the 18th century, as well as an extraordinary felt carpet and other artifacts from the more than 200 graves excavated in the early part of the 20th century at the first–second B.C. site of Noin Ula, to the north of Ulan Bator.

The second new Met Adventures trip, “In the Footsteps of St. James: El Camino de Santiago,” follows in the footsteps of medieval pilgrims in a program of selective hikes along St. James’ Way. Guided by Nancy Wu, Museum Educator at The Cloisters, travelers can expect to walk up to five miles per day passing through picturesque Spanish villages—such as Elciego, the "City of Wine"—as well as visiting spectacular cathedrals (Burgos and León) and monasteries (Santo Domingo de Silos and Las Huelgas). Top-notch cuisine, luxurious accommodations at paradores (deluxe hotels converted from heritage buildings), and the new Hotel Marqués de Riscal by Frank Gehry will further enrich this unforgettable journey to Santiago de Compostela.

Finally, the trip “Tracing Ancient Buddhism,” led by John Guy, the Florence and Herbert Irving Curator of the Arts of South and Southeast Asia in the Museum’s Department of Asian Art, takes adventurers to Sri Lanka to behold monumental ruins from the golden age of Sinhalese culture. Venturing deep into the famed Cultural Triangle, travelers will discover lesser-known sites like Ritigala, the mysterious remains of a monastery hidden in the forest. At Sigiriya (Lion Rock), they will scale a 650-foot hill to marvel at the fortress’ ancient frescoes, and at Minintale Sanctuary, participants will ascend more than 1,800 steps to the summit, a sacred site where Buddhism was first introduced to Sri Lanka. An optional five-night prelude in South India includes ancient Buddhist sites and stupas near Vijayawada before exploring both Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram from Chennai.

Travel with the Met programs are offered year-round to more than two dozen exciting destinations. More than just a vacation, a Travel with the Met international exploration combines curatorial expertise and behind-the-scenes viewing arrangements with spectacular itineraries and interesting companionship.

For more information about Met Adventures and a full list of upcoming trips, please visit www.metmuseum.org/travel. For inquiries and trip registration please call 212-650-2110 or email travelwiththemet@metmuseum.org.

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Press requests for information, interviews, or images relating to Met Adventures, Travel with the Met, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art should be directed to the Communications Office at the Metropolitan Museum, 212-570-3951 or communications@metmuseum.org.

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September 17, 2013

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