RM20m FACELIFT FOR
Project to start next month, says director
MOHAMED BASYIR GEORGE TOWN firstname.lastname@example.org
THE 200-year-old Lebuh Farquhar Penang State Museum building is going to undergo a major facelift. State Museum Board director Haryany Mohamad said the board and its partner, the George Town Conservation and Development Corporation (GTCDC), would begin the museum’s transformation project named “Museum and Art Gallery Network” (MAGnet) by the middle of next month.
“The ambitious project aims to restore and transform the former Penang School Building, which is the current museum, using the highest international standards as befits Penang’s premier Grade 1 historical building located at the centre of George Town’s World Heritage precinct. The goal of the renovation is not only to restore a historic icon, but also to create a modern museum equipped to function as an important cultural resource for the community.
“It will be a whole new look for the museum,” she said here yesterday.
The museum, established in 1817, houses interesting national and state treasures, including Baba Nyonya porcelain, jewellery and costumes.
Eight of 10 oil paintings of Captain Robert Smith, a military engineer with the East Indian Company in India who came to Asia in the early 1800s, are also displayed at the museum.
The building has not been substantially restored or upgraded and has been deteriorating due to rising humidity that has put the building and the artifacts at risk.
Museum lovers have until April 15 to visit the historic museum before it is closed for two years for the renovation.
Part of the artefacts will be temporarily placed at the Jalan Macalister State Museum.
The project will cost RM20 million, with RM2 million for repair works, while the remaining is for major refurbishment.
“Upon completion, MAGnet will house new, innovative and exciting exhibitions of the state museum’s collection.
“It will develop and operate an open network of cultural and community spaces while providing stewardship on how museums, galleries and other cultural institutions in Penang need to change to meet the needs of the 21th Century,” she added.
The 200-year-old State Museum in Lebuh Farquhar, Penang.