s one of the five large public museums of the canton Basel-Stadt it was placed in buildings of historical importance in the center of town (in front of the Kunstmuseum). The permanent collections date mainly from the Egyptian, Greek, Italic, Etruscan and Roman cultures, thus covering a period of time from the 4th millennium B.C. to the 6th century A.D. Sculptures and pottery (Greek vases) occupy a central position within the museum, but gold jewellery, bronze statuettes and clay figures are also worthily represented. The dialogue between antiquity and the present time is broadened by an additional facet, the Museum of Ancient Art not only acting as a trustee of cultural possessions but also as a dynamic place in the cultural scene. The special exhibitions which have been arousing considerable public attention even beyond the Swiss borders, are part of the museum's marked commitment.