Ranked alongside the likes of America's Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Wellington City & Sea has been named as one of the world's 50 best museums.
Britain's The Times has commissioned a panel of ''inveterate'' museum-goers to come up with the a list of the world's 50 best museums.
The list largely favours European and United States museums with just a handful from the Southern Hemisphere.
No other New Zealand museum made the list and only the Australian Museum in Sydney got a mention in Australia.
Among the big names, at number 41, is the small Museum of Wellington City & Sea on Queens Wharf.
The Times says Wellington has a tiny population but a great heritage ''as this museum proves''.
''Set on three floors, it takes in social and cultural history from early Maori and European settlement through to its maritime past, including a memorial to the 1968 Wahine ferry disaster.''
The Times recommended seeing A Millennium Ago, a show about Maori creation legends.
Museum director Brett Mason said it was an honour to be included on the list.
''Being named alongside museum heavyweights like the Smithsonian Institution, British Museum and Acropolis Museum reaffirms the work we are doing as Wellington's museum," he said.
''However, the museum does not intend to rest on its laurels. We have ambitious plans to develop the museum to emphasise its commitment to being the home of Wellington stories.''
Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown posted the article on her Facebook page overnight with a ''well done'' message to the museum.
The full list:
1. Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC.
2. British Museum, London.
3. Acropolis Museum, Athens.
4. Sir John Soane's Museum, London.
5. American Museum of Natural History, New York.
6. Imperial War Museum.
7. Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul.
8. Palace of Versailles, France.
9. Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
10. National Museum of China, Beijing.
11. Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford.
12. Science Museum, London.
13. Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
14. Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum Site museum, Xian, China.
15. Hunterian Museum, Royal College of Surgeons, London.
16. Jewish Museum, Berlin.
17. Canadian Museum of Civilisation, Ottawa.
18. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
19. Neues Museum, Berlin.
20. Centrale Montemartini Museum, Rome.
21. Natural History Museum, London.
22. Museum of the Moving Image, New York.
23. Musée national du Moyen Age, Paris.
24. Museum of Jurassic Technology, LA.
25. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai.
26. Die Neue Sammlung, Munich.
27. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.
28. Pergamon Museum, Berlin.
29. Museum of Natural History, Vienna.
30. Egyptian Museum, Turin.
31. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, England.
32. Vasa Museum, Stockholm.33. Bob Marley Museum, Kingston, Jamaica.
34. Australian Museum, Sydney.
35. Museo dell' Automobile, Turin.
36. Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad, India.
37. Boerhaave Museum, Netherlands.
38. Luxor Museum, Egypt.
39. Zeugma Mosaic Museum, Turkey.
40. Coleridge Cottage, Somerset, England.
41. Museum of Wellington City & Sea, New Zealand.
42. Robben Island Museum, South Africa.
43. Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Mexico City.
44. Viking Ship Museum, Oslo.
45. Grande Galerie d'evolution, Paris.
46. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, New York.
47. National Museum of Ireland.
48. River and Rowing Museum, Henley on Thames.
49. Ghibli Museum, Tokyo.
50. Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville.
- The Dominion Post
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