Dominique Muñoz for the International Spy Museum

In the lobby of the new Spy Museum at L’Enfant Plaza, a diorama depicts a raggedy looking man in a loin cloth, perched atop a tree, staring out at an aerial drone hanging from the ceiling. And there, in a nutshell, is the essence of the Spy Museum, a mix of old-fashioned entertainment like the kind that used to line the highways of America — safari parks and tacky attractions — and a slightly breathless admiration for technology and high-tech gimcrackery. The message of this confrontation between primitive man surveying the savanna and modern, eye-in-the-sky surveillance is simple: The need to see the unseen and uncover hidden threats is as old as the species.

With its move from

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