Galleries, museums escape major quake damage

05:06, Jul 22 2013
National Library
SHAKY START: National Library on Molesworth St, Wellington had damage to a glass door but its collections were unaffected.

The Museum of Wellington City and Sea was luckily empty during yesterday's largest quake after closing only nine minutes before it struck, a spokeswoman said.

"So we're just dealing with toppled objects, not scared people," marketing manager Kim Young said.

The museum was closed all day while a "tidy-up job" took place after items fell over or were knocked out of place, Young said.

"Everything has jumped or shimmied. We're going through every case ... but nothing seems to have broken, which is extraordinary."

The museum director's office, in the attic area of the building had "quite a sizeable", but superficial, crack, she said.

The museum aimed to open tomorrow as normal.

All council-run libraries and galleries are closed while building inspections are carried out.

A decision will be made this afternoon about whether or not facilities will reopen tomorrow.

A council spokesman said there were "surprisingly" no books on the floor at the Central Library. "It must be to do with the shelf design."

All online library services are available, and all council-run suburban community centres were open for people to drop in for a hot drink, advice or just a chat, he said.

The National Library was closed after a window above its main entrance was damaged, but it was understood the collections were unaffected.

Te Papa closed for the day.

A spokesperson said the structural assessment was continuing and a decision would be made later in the day on when it would open again.

The City Gallery also closed today as a precaution, and will open again tomorrow.

All The Dowse Art Museum's collections, exhibitions and buildings came through the quake intact, and it opened as usual.

The Cable Car Museum sustained no damage and was open as normal. The Colonial Cottage Museum also escaped damage, as it is closed for earthquake strengthening and all its objects are in secure storage.

"Perfect timing, really," a spokeswoman said.

Archives New Zealand closed today and will open as normal tomorrow. The building and archives were understood to be undamaged.

The Artrium Gallery was open as normal, with only a few items having fallen over and none damaged.

Ora Gallery was open as normal after a few items fell off shelves but with no major damage, a spokeswoman said. "I had glass fall about 4 metres and not break - amazing," she said.

The Wellington libraries of Victoria and Massey universities were both closed along with the rest of their campuses.

Bartley + Company Art, the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts and its galleries and the New Zealand Police Museum were all undamaged and functioning normally.


The Dominion Post