Due to necessary upgrades the Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden will close the main building for the next year and a half. The park and the botanical garden will remain open to the public.
In 2017, the Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden in Agder became part of the University of Agder. The university committed itself to upgrade the buildings, and now the main building will get a new ventilation system, new electrical wiring and new fire safety equipment. Buildings and outdoor areas will also get a better universal design.
The main building is emptied to prepare for the renovation. Exhibitions are dismantled and many of the museum objects are packed away for storage at the right temperature and humidity. The large whale skeleton has also been taken apart. And all employees have moved to new offices.
“Like other cultural institutions, we were forced to close for extended periods during the pandemic. It is difficult to close again, given the social responsibility we have as a museum. But we look forward to inviting the public to explore the outdoors area during this time”, says Museum Director Raul Ramirez.
Surrounding the museum is a beautiful park with exotic plants and trees, a chicken pen, playground equipment and a nature trail. Here you will also find the most beautiful botanical garden in Southern Norway, with about two thousand plant species. Both the park and the garden are open all year round, and many school classes come to visit.
“Children should experience and actively participate in the exploration of nature. We believe it is essential for them to be able to take an active part in caring for our planet. That is why we offer guided tours of the botanical garden. We also have several learning programmes that can be booked through our website”, says Ramirez.
The first step of the construction process will soon be completed. In the spring, a new greenhouse worth about NOK 14 million will house a mini museum with exhibitions on botany, zoology and geology. The greenhouse will also be used for events, exhibitions, lectures, activities, workshops and other dissemination activities. Fruits and seeds from all over the world will be displayed outside in the botanical garden. The same goes for the museum’s large rock collection.
“Here you will see stones and rocks from all over Agder, cut and polished to bring out the uniqueness of each stone”, says Ramirez.