Thanks to recent renovations made to the CNMI Museum, it has managed to weather back-to-back typhoons and has remained leak- and flood-free.
Speaking at Tuesday’s Rotary Club of Saipan meeting at the Hyatt Regency Saipan, NMI Museum director Danny Aquino noted that the NMI Museum did not sustain any damage from Typhoon Mangkhut, Typhoon Cimaron, Typhoon Jebi, and incidents of rain and thunderstorms that passed over Saipan recently.
“Everything problematic in the past has now been resolved. There has been no water leaking into the museum and there has been no flooding as a result of the heavy rains, so everything has been taken cared of,” he said.
Aquino noted that several artifacts and items in the museum retained water damage last year. “…Some [items] were damaged by termites, such as the display cases. As far as the artifacts are concerned, everything is all [in the museum],” he said, adding that the ancient gold recovered from a Spanish galleon shipwreck, which was recently a topic of discussion after an individual posted on social media that the gold was missing, remains in the museum.
The NMI Museum was shut down because of plumbing issues, which worsened after Typhoon Soudelor struck Saipan in 2015. The museum re-opened about two months ago, with many changes from when it was first shut down.
“We had a full-blown termite colony. The museum was also flooded because of the roof, and we had no running water for over five years,” he said, adding that the restroom, water lines, and leaks took about a month to repair.
“The rest of the stuff took about six months,” he added. “The museum now is a lot cleaner, it is well lit, and it is just a good feeling because the walls have different color paint.”