Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, undergoing renovation, to fully reopen in July 2018

by Kyosuke Mizukawa, Staff Writer

On February 8, the City of Hiroshima announced that the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, located in Naka Ward and now undergoing renovations, will be fully reopened in July 2018. The anticipated reopening of the entire museum had been spring 2018, but a revision to a relevant law made further reinforcement work on the East Building necessary. The reopening of the exhibition space in the East Building, which is currently closed, is now planned for around October 2016, a six-month delay from the previous estimate of spring 2016. The total costs for the project will also rise by roughly 1.6 billion yen.

The City of Hiroshima launched the renovation work, starting with the East Building, in March 2014. Because of a revision to the Building Standards Law in June 2014, a city official explained that the city was compelled to reinforce the East Building as well as comply with the revised standard and widen the corridor connecting the Main Building to the East Building.

Renovations to the East Building were expected to end by March 2016, but the city will now carry on with this work. It will begin addressing beams and other areas for about six months starting this April. The additional work delays the reopening of the East Building, which then delays the renovation work for the Main Building, as the Main Building will be closed for this construction when the East Building finally reopens. As for the Main Building, the work to attach base-isolating gum, a device that can absorb tremors at the building’s foundation, will also take longer than expected. The city official said that work on the museum will continue for a year after it fully reopens.

The City of Hiroshima allocated about 840 million yen for the renovation project, including the reinforcement work for the East Building, in its initial budget for fiscal 2016. The total costs will increase to about 7.3 billion yen from the initial projection of 5.7 billion yen. An official in the city’s Peace Promotion Division said, “We hope that people will understand that this work is vital. We will share our new estimated date for the reopening on the museum’s website and through other means to keep the public well informed.”

(Originally published on February 9, 2016)