National Museum multi-million pula facelift project commences

Picture: Moreri Sejakgomo

The Department of National Museum and Monuments (DNMM) has commenced the construction of its multi-million pula permanent exhibition in Gaborone. The project, anticipated to cost 33 million Pula, is expected to be completed by mid-2021.

This was revealed revealed during the groundbreaking ceremony held at the department’s headquarters in Gaborone. The turnkey project will redesign the outmoded displays built over the last 50 years and introduce a modern multi-sensory exhibition with multimedia. Extensive research is being conducted to inform the new exhibition content which, will address topical issues in Botswana including environment, climate change, biodiversity, politics, culture, history and the economy. The refurbished permanent exhibition will incorporate existing dioramas, exhibits and the abundant national heritage collections that the department is the custodian of.

HL&L Architects and Motaki (Pty) Ltd will be carrying out the long-overdue project, which started with the design phase in April 2019.The second phase will include modification of the gallery, installation of the exhibition, an additional gallery floor. 

The revamp will also come with new visitor facilities including a refurbished reception, library and galleries, a modern restaurant and a redesigned indigenous garden.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, the Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Phelda Kereng said the major development phase would propel the museum into the future and beyond. She said it was only appropriate that the 50-year-old permanent exhibition is being revamped now to respond to the needs of the current visitor. Kereng added that the facility would be a place of learning, leisure and the first port of call for special visitors, tourists and all Batswana. 

“I am sure with the artist’s impressions that we have seen, the refurbished museum will change the cityscape and transform Gaborone into a cosmopolitan metropolis,” she said. 

“As government, we are putting up a facility that will position the museum to receive visitors that will become a melting pot of culture and heritage, and contribute to the revitalisation of the mall.”

Kereng said her ministry would continue with diversification efforts of the economy in line with the government transformation agenda.

“The project is expected to redefine who we are as a nation, create jobs and most importantly, boost tourism,” she highlighted.

Kereng also paid homage to the founding director of the National Museum and Monuments, Alec Campbell, who pioneered the establishment of the museum concept in Botswana.

Source: https://www.mmegi.bw/index.php?aid=86727&dir=2020/august/21

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