THE Natural History Museum is set to close its doors as refurbishment work takes place on the roof and upper galleries.
While no timeline has yet been given for the closure of the famed ‘Dead Zoo’ on Dublin’s Merrion Street, it is planned to move the natural history collections to the National Museum of Ireland (NMI) at Collins Barracks during refurbishment work.
While works are under way, the museum will keep the ground floor galleries open on Merrion Street “for as long as it remains safe to do so”, and some of them will also be on show at Collins Barracks.
The museum recently began moving parts of the collection to facilitate works to restore the roof, and a full ‘decant’ is planned to put the remaining collections into storage later this year to allow investigative work on the building.
A spokesperson for the Department of Tourism said: “The NMI is also developing plans to present the natural history collections at Collins Barracks during any period of closure.
“This important capital investment will restore the building fabric of this cherished historic building, address longstanding accessibility issues and enhance visitor experience, better supporting the museum to communicate the richness of biodiversity.
“As the redevelopment progresses, it is vital that the museum’s irreplaceable collections be preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.”
Since the ground floor of the Natural History Museum reopened in August last year, almost 200,000 people have visited.
The museum was built in 1856 and has “changed very little in the last 166 years”, said a spokesperson for the National Museum of Ireland.
“The redevelopment programme is currently in the detailed design and planning stage and there is currently no definitive date for closure.”
Minister for Arts Catherine Martin gave approval to proceed to the planning and design phase for the redevelopment of the Natural History Museum in partnership with the Office of Public Works in January.
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