23 July 2010

Confirmed: A new home for Singapore's natural history in 2014!

There will be a new home for the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research in 2014!
A brand new building at the National University of Singapore will showcase Singapore's biodiversity for everyone to better appreciate the awesome biodiversity of Singapore and more.

I was most excited to read in today's media reports that the Museum's fund-raising effort over the last six months did far better than expected: raising $46 million, surpassing the target of $35 million.

This included about $1 million from the public, anonymous multimillion-dollar donations and a $25 million donation from the Lee Foundation.

The 7,000 sq m building will be named the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, in honour of the Lee Foundation's donation. It will be built in Kent Ridge Crescent, where the Office of Estate Development now stands, with the University Cultural Centre and Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music nearby.

Prof Peter Ng, who is director of the RMBR, said: 'We've reached the first milestone. The Lee Foundation is particularly interested in the fact that this collection is part of our natural heritage, as we've had it for more than 100 years. We want to build a green building we can be proud of.'

Prof Leo Tan, who chairs the RMBR fund-raising committee, said: 'When people see natural history, they can relate to it in an immediate way that they can't with abstract art, as we're all biological beings. It's a museum where three generations can come at once, as there are no barriers to appreciating it.'

Prof Ng, who is director of the RMBR, said: 'We've reached the first milestone. The Lee Foundation is particularly interested in the fact that this collection is part of our natural heritage, as we've had it for more than 100 years. We want to build a green building we can be proud of.'

Prof Tan, who chairs the RMBR fund-raising committee, said: 'When people see natural history, they can relate to it in an immediate way that they can't with abstract art, as we're all biological beings. It's a museum where three generations can come at once, as there are no barriers to appreciating it.'

A new round of fundraising efforts will kick off soon to equip the new museum with high-quality new exhibits for the galleries.

You CAN make a difference and contribute to the new effort at fundraising. Visit the RMBR website for more on how you can donate.

Can the public see anything of the collection now?
Yes, RMBR has a small public gallery displaying fascinating specimens from Singapore and beyond. Opened in 2001, here's more about what you can see at the gallery. And here's an account of one visit there: The Raffles Museum: Nature comes alive.

Opening hours: 9am-5pm, Mon to Fri, closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.
Location: Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, link to campus map.
Contact: 65-6516-5082

Guided and group tours of the Public Gallery are available, pre-registration required. More details on the RMBR website.

Related posts
Media reports
More about RMBR

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