Governor Augustus Jaspert and the board of Old Government House Museum has launched a fundraising campaign to raise $500,000 to restore the museum, which sustained major damage during Hurricane Irma back in September 2017.
Member of the museum’s board Dr Michael Kent said the facility plays an important role not only to promote local heritage but also in the local tourism sector.
“Before the storm, we had money in the bank, we had done really well. We showed and proved that museums in the Virgin Islands work. We had consistent guests, [and] we held functions here,” Dr Kent said at the launch.
“We were a fluid museum making money and providing a service to our tourists but, more importantly, to the younger generations of Virgin Islands to show them that special relationship between the United Kingdom and the British Virgin Islands. We can be a fluid museum again, we just need a little bit of help and that’s the whole point of this campaign,” he added.
The board will be hosting a number of events including an exhibition and an auction as part of the fundraising initiative.
Once the funds are raised, structural changes will be done to improve the structural soundness of the age-old building.
However, board members have assured that the changes will not interfere with the historical integrity of the site.
“We’re not rebuilding Old Government House Museum, we are improving Old Government House Museum … Obviously, we intend on reconstructing the building as closely as possible to what it was but, as I said, in doing so we intend on making it better,” Dr Kent said.
The board is hoping to raise the needed funds in the shortest possible time but hopes to complete its fundraising efforts before the end of this year.
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