Museum of Natural History to close for a year | University of Oxford

Museum of Natural History to close for a year

The Oxford University Museum of Natural History will be closed to the public throughout 2013 so that restoration work on the museum’s leaky roof can be completed.

The first phase of building, which began last year, involved stripping and cleaning 3,500 of the 8,500 diamond-shaped glass panes before putting them back into the museum’s famous vaulted roof.

The second and third phases will require the museum to be shut to the public from the start of 2013 until early 2014.

During this time, the museum entrance and shop will remain open with a wide tunnel created so visitors can still access the adjoining Pitt Rivers Museum, which will not be affected by the restoration work.

The Museum of Natural History will continue its educational outreach activities for schools in other locations. Researchers and staff will also be unaffected by the closures.

Professor Paul Smith, director of the museum, said: 'The first phase of the building has been very successful and it showed us what the museum could look like. The roof no longer leaks and the quality of light in the interior court is much improved.'

He added: 'When the museum reopens in 2014, it will be a brighter place. It is a rare opportunity to get a Grade I-listed building back to its original condition, improve the protective care of the collections and make the visitor experience so much better. We hope that buckets will never be seen on the floor again.'