IT HAS been closed for nearly three years after a disastrous fire but on Saturday, the Pompey Museum reopened with an exhibition called “Wade in the Water.”
Pompey Museum was first established in 1992 at Venue House – the oldest building in the heart of Nassau.
Since then, it has been viewed as a national treasure as it housed many historical pieces from the time of slavery and emancipation.
In the 20th century, it also housed the telephone and electricity departments.
In the early hours of December 2, 2011, a fire destroyed the historical site for the second time in its history.
Now that it has reopened, Chief Curator at the Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Corporation (AMMC) Kim Outten Stubbs is encouraging Bahamians to come and enjoy it.
“Please come out and help us celebrate our heritage and culture – this very important milestone for us and for the country. This site is so important to our heritage and culture. It is the oldest building in the town of Nassau from which most of our ancestors were sold or passed through and we simply cannot allow it to deteriorate and I am so very pleased we were able to restore it,” she said.
“It’s a different kind of exhibition this year. It was designed by John Beetle and the graphics were designed by Ambrose Fernander and they have done a fantastic job of capturing the aspect of slavery generally.
“There was a specific story about the Peter Murrell - a slave ship that wrecked in the Abacos in 1860 and that story is told in the exhibit as well.”
Mrs Outten Stubbs noted that many artifacts were salvaged from the fire, but the museum is looking for other pieces to add to its collection.
“One of the things that we want to do is encourage persons who may have pieces related to slavery to make an arrangement with us so they could become part of the collection,” she said.
Project Architect at the Pompey Museum Alicia Oxley said the Ministry of Works partnered with AMMC for the restoration.
“We were able to do a design that brought it back to its original design while upgrading it. We added a wooden floor. We have a steel column that carries a concrete floor. These were some of the challenges we’ve had in making decisions as to how we would overcome or how we would restore the building,” she said.
“We would hope we got it right after two fires because now we have built according to code of museums around the world.”