Museum needs more storage space

THE NMI Museum needs more space to properly store artifacts from the Spanish and Japanese eras recently discovered at the Kallingal Building located across from the museum.

“When we built the storage, I didn’t know there were still artifacts at Kallingal,”

NMI Museum Executive Director Danny Aquino said.

The artifacts included old photographs, cannonballs retrieved from the Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, old documents and books, old Japanese uniforms, a canoe, among other items.

“They have become food for termites,” Aquino said.  

Last year, IT&E and Saipan Shipping donated two 20-foot containers that were modified to serve as storage areas for human remains and other museum artifacts.

 Aquino said the two containers were placed side by side with the other container donated by the U.S. Department of Defense. They formed a 600 sq. ft. room that could be utilized as a storage facility, office or a temporary exhibit room.

“At this point,” Aquino said, “we have used the space for storage and we are almost at maximum capacity.”


He added, “I was so happy that we could finally move the human remains and other artifacts and organize them neatly. But then I didn’t know there was more stuff at the Kallingal Building.”

He learned that the museum  rented spaces at the building for the curator’s office and storage, but gave them up when budget cuts hit the museum during the Fitial administration.

“A good amount of property that was stored at the Kallingal building was already eaten by termites or damaged by moisture.

They cannot be stored inside the museum building because we don’t want to bring those termites into the museum after we had just eradicated a termite colony within our building,” he said.

Aquino said storage is always going to be an issue with any museum. “To help with storage, I gave up my office and two other office spaces and procured shelves to store vases from the Concepcion collection that were just laying on our floors or were transferred from the Kallingal building.”

He said the museum is at a critical point now because the items at the Kallingal building have to be properly stored.

 “It took less than six months to properly repair the main museum and while my staff and I were filled with elation after the museum repairs were completed, it was a very brief one after the doors to the old curator’s office opened up at the Kallingal building.”

Source: Marianas Variety :

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