Move of the century

Staff at the Canterbury Museum are gearing up for the move of the century.

The museum is preparing for a major $200 million-plus redevelopment of its Rolleston Ave site starting in April next year which is expected to take up to five years to fully complete.

Museum director Anthony Wright says keeping the history and heritage of the buildings is important.

Enjoying the Canterbury Museum exhibits. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Enjoying the Canterbury Museum exhibits. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Parts of the museum buildings that were badly damaged in the earthquakes will be demolished, but the heritage buildings at the front of the museum and the Robert McDougall Gallery at the back will be kept and fully upgraded, he said.

Work will start soon on safely packing and moving the museum's 2.3 million exhibits to a secure off-site warehouse complex.

"If you imagine shifting house, it's a bit daunting. Well, shifting a museum is ultra, ultra daunting" said Wright.

During the redevelopment, the museum will open a pop-up centre in the central city to ensure the public still have access to some of the popular exhibits.

- By Geoff Sloan
- Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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