Sarawak Museum to close for two and a half years for conservation works


One of the imposing buildings at the present-day Sarawak Museum, which is in need of repair and conservation works. File Photo

KUCHING: The Sarawak Museum will be temporarily closed from Oct 23 onwards for a period of two and a half years.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the temporary closure was to allow the completion of Phase II of the Sarawak Museum campus and heritage trail project.

“The old Sarawak museum will be temporarily closed for a period of two and a half years until early 2020 due to the much needed conservation of the building and century old artefacts,” he told a press conference at his office on the 22nd floor of Wisma Bapa Malaysia, Petra Jaya, here.

According to him, the cost of the project totalled RM38 million.

The chief minister assured that the original building structure will be preserved, adding that the building is an important historical site for tourists.

The historic and gazetted museum building was built in 1891 by Sir Charles Brooke on the recommendation of Alfred Russel Wallace.

“The building is in urgent need for physical conservation and rewiring and upgrading of mechanical and electrical (M&E) facilities,” he added.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari said the government was also considering charging an entrance fee to visit the museum.

“We are considering that (entrance fees), but it will be minimal.

“In other parts of the world you have to pay if you visit a museum,” he explained.