Opened on November 11, 1952, on the National Day of the Maldives, the National Museum was built with the purpose of preserving the history of the Maldives and instilling patriotism in the people of the island nation. The museum has two section – an upstairs section which includes modern period displays such as Maldives lacquer-work boxes, while the downstairs section has displays from the ancient and medieval periods of Maldivian history. In 2012, the museum was sadly broken into by religious extremists who stole 30 ancient Buddhist coral stone carvings and destroyed them for being idols.
Within walking distance from most of the main attractions in Malé is Mulee-aage Palace which was once the Official Residence of the President of the Maldives. Built in the early 20th century for the sultan, it was never lived in as he was deposed before it was complete. Since then it has had many uses, including the Residence of Crown Prince Hassan Izzuddin, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Presidential Palace, the Prime Minister’s Office, and the Supreme Court of the Maldives. Today, it is used as the Official Residence of the President. Although visitors are not allowed inside the building, the beautiful architecture is a sight to behold during the day; and the grounds serve as a gathering place in the evenings, with stunning light displays and a family oriented jovial atmosphere.