A major renovation work has begun at the national museum of Liberia to restore its current deplorable condition of fissured walls and every damaged bit of it.
The roof of the building, which used to leak from the rains, has been changed along with the damaged wall running parallel to Buchanan Street.
Erected in 1862 and once housing the House of Legislature and Supreme Court of Liberia, the museum underwent a minor repair few years ago. But this full scale renovation is the first of its kind after the country’s 14 year-old civil war.
Work is now being done on the second and third tiers of the museum, which contain art galleries that illustrate Liberian works of art, transforming them into modern structures.
Also, the problem of lack of electricity and pipe-borne water that has hampered the museum for years is being resolved with the installation of electrical wires and water lines.
The cost of the renovation is put at US$400,000, with an increase of US$55,000 from last year’s budget of US$345,000.
But what remains unclear here is whether damaged cultural artifacts and other historical items will be restored, too.
Assistant Culture Minister at the Ministry of information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Louise McMillian said the government regrets the delay in the renovation work at the museum, which was scheduled for last year, adding that the ongoing work clearly demonstrates government’s commitment to preserve cultural artifacts.
“The full scale renovation work will ensure that the national museum is restored and rehabilitated to its pre-war status. After the renovation, it will be in a modern state having electricity, plumbing and others.
“When the museum is dedicated few months from now it will impact the nation with pride and self-esteem and contribute meaningfully to the nation’s educational agenda as well as providing a touristic engagement with locals and foreigners,” Min. McMillian said.
The minister disclosed that to meet the deadline with the expected outputs and outcomes, there will be a regular bi-weekly independent monitoring from stakeholders, and a weekly report submitted to the project manager on completed phases.
“We are going to make sure that everything about the project is worked out in a timely manner and completed,” she assured.
According to the minister, the project is expected to be dedicated in December this year.