SIBU: Sibu Cultural Heritage Museum, a treasure trove of the town’s rich cultural heritage, has recorded a big drop in the number of visitors during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Due to travel restrictions, the museum recorded zero visits by foreign tourists.
The museum located on the upper level of the Sibu Heritage Centre, used to receive an average of 1,000 visitors monthly before the movement control order (MCO) was imposed on March 18.
The number had reduced to about 200 monthly now.
Museum assistant curator, Joathim Tajul, said that in January, there were 847 visitors. Of the number, 30 were tourists, 512 local adults and 305 local children.
In February, he said 871 visitors were recorded, with 42 tourists, 523 local adults and 306 local children.
“In March, there were nine tourists, 217 local adults and 106 local children as the museum was opened until the 18th, ” he said.
“The museum was closed from March 18 to July 13. When it re-opened on July 14, there were no tourists but 114 local visitors.”
In August, the number of visitors was still low, with 160 locals comprising 103 adults and 57 children.
“The big drop in visitors is because people are being cautious, ” said Joathim.
He said before the museum reopened, it was sanitised in compliance with the standard operating procedure (SOP).
“Visitors have to wear face masks, record personal details, have their temperature taken and observe physical distancing, ” he said.
The Sibu Heritage Centre, housed in the former Sibu Municipal Council building, displays the rich cultural heritage of the various ethnic groups from the central region.
Housing its own museum, exhibits centered around Chinese migrants and ethnic tribes.
There are also a fine collection of antiques, artifacts and photos.
Another impressive feature at the museum is its eye catching collection of Chinese porcelain and clay vases.
The museum is open from 9 to 5pm from Tuesday to Sunday.
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