Severe Cutbacks at Icelandic Natural History Museum Skip to content

Severe Cutbacks at Icelandic Natural History Museum

The government is planning to cut its funding to the Icelandic Natural History Museum by 25 percent in next year’s national budget and now it appears as if the museum cannot reopen in the coming years. The opening was originally scheduled for this fall.

An Arctic Tern. Among objects on display at the Natural History Museums are taxidermied birds. Copyright: Heimur.

The Icelandic Natural History Museum is one of Iceland’s three primary museums, along with the National Gallery of Iceland and the National Museum of Iceland.

According to Fréttabladid, the other two museums are looking at significantly milder cutbacks, six percent each. Director of the Natural History Museum Helgi Torfason asked why the government is planning such different cutbacks to the museums.

The Natural History Museum was located in a building at Hlemmur 3-5 in Reykjavík and in Akureyri. They museum was temporarily closed in 2008 with plans to move it to a more suitable location in a new building in Gardabaer, a neighboring town of Reykjavík.

Ground was broken by the then Minister of the Environment Thórunn Sveinbjarnardóttir on July 1, 2007, and according to schedule, the museum was supposed to reopen this fall.

The old location at Hlemmur had long become obsolete; in December 2006 a hot water pipe burst, damaging many of the museum’s objects.

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