Sarawak Museum in Borneo Temporarily Closes for Restoration
The Sarawak Museum, the oldest in Borneo, closed its doors for approximately 30 months from October 2017 for restoration works to its building and century-old artefacts, according to Chief Minister Datuk Abang Johari Openg. The Chief Minister said the historic museum building, built in 1891, urgently needed restoration, rewiring and upgrades.
A popular venue for cruise line visits, the Sarawak Museum was founded during the reign of Sarawak’s second White Rajah, Sir Charles Brooke, on the encouragement of a prominent British naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace, who had then been collecting specimens in the state. The museum was run by military officers during the two world wars. In World War I, British officers had been assigned to it. During the Japanese Occupation, the museum was protected by the Japanese military officers.
The state’s Museum Department has made plans to shift all moveable artefacts, specimens and authentic showcases, from the old museum building to the temporary location for safekeeping and conservation during the closure.
On a good note, the Museum department has set up alternative exhibitions at the Arts Museum, Chinese History Museum, Islamic Heritage Museum and Textile Museum which we will incorporate into our visits for international cruise line visitors.