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by Wilfred Pilo
KUCHING, June 24: Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts, Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah wants the art gallery that used to house the old Sarawak Museum office by Padang Merdeka to be completed by the end of 2024.
He said the heritage building is now under renovation as the earthwork affecting the ground drain has affected the floor, and hopes that work on it can be completed in one and a half years.
“I want it to be reinforced first as it was a heritage building. Once reinforced, then we can start to fix the gallery.
“Once that is all done, we will have a grand opening for the gallery,” he told reporters when met at ‘BIC Festival Vol 2: Celebrating Sarawak Cultural Revival through Art’ at La Promenade Mall today.
Abdul Karim said the heritage building was given to the Sarawak government to be used as an art gallery, despite many entities wanting to acquire it.
He added that he was interested in engaging the local art society and art fraternity to manage the gallery.
“I don’t want the ministry to dictate things because they are artists. We want them to tell us how they want the artwork to be showcased.
“The location is ideal and within walking distance to several attractions, and this is why I wanted it to be an art gallery in the first place.”
“The area also houses the Borneo Cultures Museum, Natural History Museum, the Marine Museum and other places of interest. This place would be ideal for tourist and visitors who love the arts, museums, heritage and history,” he said.
Abdul Karim’s wife, Datin Sri Zuraini Abdul Jabbar, was also present at the event. — DayakDaily