The Australian Museum is being renovated and will reopen in mid-2020

Australia’s oldest museum, the Australian Museum, has closed for a year to allow construction workers to renovate the building.

The renovation is being called ‘Project Discover’ and has a budget of $57.5 million, which includes $50.5 million from the NSW Government and $7 million to be raised through philanthropic donors.

The Australian Museum will repurpose existing storage space which will allow the touring exhibition hall to greatly expand to 1,500 square metres over two levels. This will allow the museum to host either one major exhibition or two exhibitions simultaneously.

As part of the renovation exhibition spaces will be upgraded, there will be new education facilities, a new museum shop, a second café, expanded Members’ Lounge, cloaking and amenities.

The Australian Museum has released a video showing the proposed improvements. The museum will host a special exhibition in early 2021 – Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh – the most significant collection of artefacts ever to leave Egypt. 150 objects from the tomb of Tutankhamun will be displayed. That means the oldest known trumpet on earth will be coming to Sydney for six months.

In April 1939, BBC radio broadcast audio of a person playing Tutankhamun’s trumpet at the Cairo Museum. The items will end their world tour when the Grand Egyptian Museum opens in 2021.

Construction began on the Australian Museum in 1846 near Hyde Park. The new museum opened to the public in 1857 with just one exhibition gallery. The site has been modified over the years to accommodate exhibitions, collections and staff.

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