Project to start next month, says di­rec­tor

New Straits Times - - News -


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.

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