The Museo Nacional de Antropología offers the visiting public an overview of the culture of different peoples while it also determines the cultural similarities or differences which unite or differentiate them to show the wealth and diversity of cultures all over the world, advance intercultural understanding and promote tolerance towards other peoples and cultures. It also seeks to arouse popular curiosity in the exhibits and subject matter involved and of universal interest through a range of activities.
The Museum opened in 1875 as Museo Antropológico. It was founded upon the personal initiative of the physician Pedro González Velasco and on his death the State bought the building along with all of its collections.The collections are samples of the tangible culture of various peoples of Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Oceania, especially those associated with Spanish history, as well as of physical Anthropology. It also houses major documentary collections of wood-cuts, lithographic works and photographs from the 19th and 20th centuries.