The Asian Civilizations Museums is one of the important parts of the National Museums of Singapore. It has been a pioneering institution in the region that specializes in Pan-Asian cultures and civilizations. It has special exhibits on the material history of South Asia, China, West Asia and Southeast Asia. These are the regions which have a long cultural history and many of the Singaporeans trace their lineage in these cultures. The first premises of ACM were at Armenian Street which was opened on April 21, 1997 and had a majority of exhibits that showcased the Chinese Civilization. Later on the focus was shifted to Peranakan culture and displayed Peranakan silver, jewelery and porcelain as well as a recreation of an altar that belonged to one of the affluent Peranakan families in Singapore. The present premises of ACM were opened on March 2, 2003 at Empress Place. It occupies over 14,000 square meters of space and has 11 galleries that exhibit over 1300 artifacts.