New Latvian museum depository opened on Pulka Street, Rīga

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A new, modern depository for storing the national treasures of four Latvian museums was opened on December 11 on Pulka Street, Rīga, according to Latvian Radio.

The depository will hold around two million museum objects, which will be supplemented by newer collections. There were several obstacles in building the facility, including the economic crisis. The depository construction cost 28.7 million euros.

The building currently provides the most extensive museum storage in the Baltics. It will house objects from the National History Museum, National Museum of Art, Literature and Music Museum, and Film Museum.

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State Real Estate Board Chair Andris Vārna said the unique building has highest security requirements and was created specially to house museum valuables. The building is divided into three museum blocks with one common, public section. Each museum section is capable of functioning independently. So far the only problem seems to be spotty mobile phone service, but Vārna has promised to find a solution.

The new depository was ceremoniously opened on December 11, but the museums will only begin moving in during the first part of January. The moving process will last through fall of next year.

As previously reported in 2016, currently the collections of these museums are stored in unfavorable conditions. For example, about 28,000 units of the LNMM collection on modern art is stored at the Arsenāls gallery, originally a 19th-century customs storehouse, where the lack of space harms the artworks and hinders researchers' attempts to work with them.

Other museums are storing collections in similarly unsuitable places. After the 2013 fire at the Rīga Castle, the National History Museum is storing its valuables at a former vocational school near the Salu Bridge.

The collection of the Rīga Film Museum rests in three cramped rooms by the Theater Museum on Smiļģa street and the Literature and Music Museum is to move its collection to the new repository complex too. The museum currently resides in temporary premises on Tērbatas street.

The complex was designed by Arhitektu birojs Krasts, while construction was undertaken by RERE MEISTARI 1.

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