The Lake Biwa Cultural Museum (Biwako Bunkakan 琵琶湖文化館), shaped like a castle on the shore of Lake Biwa in Otsu, closed on March 30, 2008 after 47 years. Admission was free on the last day. The museum opened in 1961 and served as an art museum, centering on Buddhist art, and aquarium for lake fish. Parts of the museum’s collection were later transferred to other museums in Shiga. Its collection of about 5,000 pieces includes National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties. The lookout deck on the top floor gave a panoramic view of the lake. The rooftop also had a dragonfly sculpture. Due to financial reasons, the cash-strapped prefecture decided to close the museum which will continue to store its collection.
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