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Department of National Museum


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.


Preserving natural heritages in a scientific regular manner and making them available for public appraisal, educational and aesthetic purposes.


  • Collection of data related to the fields of ancient history, human history, human science, botany, zoology, geography and fossils, and preserving museum related monuments and their samples.
  • Organizing exhibitions of museum related monuments and theirs samples.
  • Promoting research activities.
  • Printing and providing books like ‘Spolia Selenica’ creations.
  • Publishing other magazines, books and special articles written on respective subjects.
  • Re-printing rarely available books.

Dr. Sanuja Kasthuriarachchi



+94 11 2695366 / +94 11 2854635



+94 11 2692092



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Address - Post Box No. 584
Colombo 07
Telephone- +94 11 2694767
Website -

Last Updated on Sunday, 22 February 2015 15:27  

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