Its doors may be closed but behind the scenes, Canterbury Museum is a hive of activity as staff prepare for the iconic building's reopening next month.
The Museum has been temporarily closed since 16 April, after the Canterbury Museum Trust Board made the cautious and considered decision to close the building pending further engineering reports and assessments.
"With so many of our Christchurch attractions and historic buildings closed or demolished, and although it was the right thing to do, the temporary closure of the Museum was a significant blow for our community and for staff," says Director Anthony Wright.
"For this reason, I am really pleased to announce that we are going to partially reopen on Monday 2 July, which is fantastic news for Christchurch."
The Museum will reopen areas of the building that are well above the new building code. These are the Mountfort Gallery (decorative arts and costume) and Maori galleries, as well as its Early European Settlement, the Victorian Museum room, the Christchurch Street and Canterbury Quakes exhibition. The remaining galleries, including Discovery and the Museum cafe, will stay closed pending further engineering peer review assessments.
Mr Wright says while the Museum has been closed, the Visitor Hosts have been outside the Museum meeting and greeting on average more than 600 visitors per week. Staff have also been planning ahead for the major touring exhibition, Scott's Last Expedition, due to open on 23 November 2012.
Direct from London, Scott's Last Expedition will profile the epic journey of British explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott's Terra Nova expedition to Antarctica.
"Canterbury Museum is the only New Zealand venue to showcase Scott's Last Expedition and we've been planning for the event since 2010. It's going to be a fantastic show and one that I am sure will appeal to not only Antarctic enthusiasts but also to families of all ages and nationalities," says Mr Wright.
Mr Wright says the Museum aims to be fully open to the public by August 2012.
Popular competitions and giveaways from Gimme.co.nz: NZ's People Powered Guide to Free Stuff. Links will open on Gimme.
Join Voxy on Google+.