Moving house is no easy task, so imagine packing up a museum. Canterbury Museum staff members are starting that process, setting up to move 2.3 million historical treasures to allow for a major museum redevelopment. Words Hannah Brown
The Museum construction project is set to start in autumn next year. Due to the project complexities and scale, all of the exhibits, and every single taonga (treasure) will move to a temporary site before construction begins.
With such a task at hand, Museum staff are well underway with the planning and expect to start moving later this year.
Canterbury Museum trust board chairperson David Ayers says, “it’s an incredibly exciting project for Museum staff to be involved in but very daunting given the scale of the planning and work involved.”
After the move, a pop-up Museum will be set up in the central city, alongside other visitor attractions Ravenscar House Museum and Quake City.
The redevelopment will see the historical Mountfort buildings, designed by architect Benjamin Mountfort strengthened, and the heritage features restored, revealed and enhanced.
The forms of the original buildings will be exposed, including the original timber roof trusses and the stone and brick walls.
The Museum has secured $125 million of the funding for the project, which is expected to take up to five years to complete, and the team is currently in discussion with potential funders including the Central Government.