National Museum of Natural History now open to the public
The new National Museum of Natural History as seen from Waterfront Manila Pavilion.
STAR/Tanya Lara, File

National Museum of Natural History now open to the public

(Philstar.com) - May 18, 2018 - 11:24am

MANILA, Philippines — The National Museum of Natural History officially opened its doors to the public as the world marks International Museum Day.

Hosted inside the former Department of Tourism building within Rizal Park in Manila, the new museum is open Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free of charge.



"Today, on International Museum Day, we are opening the National Museum of Natural History to the public, marking the completion of the conversion of the Department of Tourism Building (originally the Agriculture and Commerce Building) into a world-class museum facility that will benefit all Filipinos by helping us all to know better and develop a greater appreciation and for the gifts of nature with which our country is so richly endowed," National Museum chairman Ramon del Rosario said in a statement.

This project was first initiated in 1998 through the National Museum Act under the administration of former President Fidel Ramos.

The landmark law allowed the conversion of the former Finance Building into the National Museum of Anthropology, the former Legislative Building into the National Museum of Fine Arts, and the former Tourism building into the National Museum of Natural History.

In 2012, former President Benigno Aquino III supported the conversion of the former Tourism building as part of his administration's major projects under the Department of Education.

"The government undertook the conversion of the Tourism building, through extensive retrofitting and renovation, into a building suited to house the Natural History Museum and its priceless geological, botanical and zoological collections," Del Rosario said.

A private foundation donated a "Tree of Life" structure, including a glass and aluminum dome, for the natural history museum. The building would then consist of a scenic elevator that would bring visitors to the fifth floor where the exhibits, in a series of twelve galleries, would be located.

"This project is a prime example of a unique world-class project pursued through various administrations over three decades: the Ramos administration that laid the vision and legal foundation for the project, the Estrada and Arroyo administrations that allowed for the initial implementation of the National Museum Act, the Aquino administration that launched and aggressively funded the greater part of the project, and the present Duterte administration which has supported its completion and the realization of its potential for the benefit of our people," the National Museum chair said.



As part of International Museum Day, at least nine museums in Metro Manila will be offering free admission on Friday.

These include National Museum properties—the National Museum for Fine Arts, National Museum of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History and the National Planetarium.

The Yuchengco Museum in Makati City, Metropolitan Museum and Museong Pambata in Manila, Bahay Tsinoy in Intramuros and QCX Museum in Quezon City are also expected to be open to the public for free. —? Patricia Lourdes Viray

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