The ongoing renovation work at the nation’s only museum which started four months ago, at a cost of US$400,000, is nearing completion.
The roof of the building, which used to leak so badly that several artifacts were damaged, has been changed, along with the broken wall running parallel to Buchanan Street.
The second and third tiers of the museum, which contained art galleries showcasing Liberian works of art, were badly damaged. They have now been transformed into modern structures.
In addition, the lack of electricity and pipe-borne water that hampered the smooth operation of the museum for years has been resolved.
Erected in 1862, and once housing the House of Legislature and Supreme Court of Liberia, the museum was under minor repairs a few years ago. But the current ‘full scale renovation’ is the first of its kind after the country’s 14-year civil war.
The 154-year old building is a national heritage structure standing at the corner of Broad and Buchanan Streets. It is one of the few remaining landmark structures that represent Liberia during ‘normal days,’ as well as possessing important historical and cultural artifacts good for education and research.
The work on the museum, according to the Assistant Minister for Culture at the Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Joyce Kenkpen, is 95 percent complete, and will be dedicated a month from now.
The Minister added that although the renovation work on the museum is long overdue, it is ‘a dream come true’ for the government and a fulfillment of a promise to promote and maintain Liberia’s culture.
“I agreed that this is a belated undertaking, but it is better late than never. At least, at the end of the day, our promise was fulfilled,” Min. Joyce said.
Speaking on other cultural projects across the country, the Minister explained that renovation work on the Ben Town Cultural Village, which was put on hold due to irregularities in the procurement process, will soon begin.
“Right now, we are seeking a contractor to begin the fencing of the land to stop people encroaching on it, which will be followed by the construction phase.
“I understand that there is an urgent need for cultural villages across the country which will help to stop the fast decaying of culture, but this cannot be done in a hurry. We have to take our time in order to get the needed result,” she added.
On Beh Sao, the nation’s only remaining cultural village that is still in ruins, Min. Kenkpen did not say when the project will actually start, but added that it would be “very soon.”