Ongoing renovation work at the Liberia National Museum now faces serious setbacks due to government’s delay in paying contractors, which has led them to put down their tools.
According to a source inside the ministry, the work done so far is around 80-85% complete and the interior and exterior still need a little work. But, due to government’s delay in paying contractors, work has been put on a standstill.
Although our source refused to give the specific amount, he said it should have been paid a long time ago, adding that the government has been asking the contractors to be patient, “which they have been, yet after this long time, they have not received their money yet.”
“This is bad news. This means, the museum’s dedicatory event which should have taken place in March has now been pushed forward to a later time.
“I cannot give you the assurance when they will get their pay, but I can assure you this will continue for a very longtime. Right now, this delay is a serious setback for the Department of Cultural Affairs.
“By this time, we are supposed to be on a nationwide tour to help gather or purchase artifacts for the Museum.”
It can be recalled that H.E. Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2005/2006 procured some 2,000 pieces of artifacts for the National Museum.
The renovation and rehabilitation project of the National Museum, which started some four months ago, at a cost of US$400,000, is nearing completion.
The second and third tiers of the museum, which contained art galleries showcasing Liberian works of art, were badly damaged have been fixed and 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.