Tenerife museum reopens after 7 years, featuring aboriginal Canary Island pottery

The Council of Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife has allocated 80,000 euros to address the issue of dampness affecting one of the most significant collections of aboriginal ceramics in Canary Islands' museums.

The Archaeological Museum of Puerto de la Cruz in northern Tenerife is set to reopen its permanent exhibition this year, which has been closed since June 2017 due to unresolved dampness issues. Despite the allocation of an 80,000 euro budget to fix the problem after several years, the museum’s reopening is now underway with project plans being drafted.

Juana Hernández, the museum’s director, and Jesús Reverón, the councillor for Socio-Cultural Services and Innovation, have confirmed that the technical staff are currently developing the project. Reverón expressed his involvement in monitoring the progress and setup of each room to ensure visitors can fully appreciate the heritage on display.

The museum is home to one of the Canary Islands’ most significant collections of aboriginal pottery. The dampness problem was first noticed in June 2017 during a 3D reconstruction of 20 pieces for the virtual museum, when staff discovered moisture on the exterior façade. The building, constructed from stone, mud, and wood, suffered leakage that damaged the bottom of a display case containing large storage vessels.

Tenerife museum reopens after 7 years, featuring aboriginal Canary Island pottery

Although no artefacts were damaged, the ongoing issues prompted the removal of all pieces from affected storage areas to ensure their preservation under suitable conditions. While the exhibition area has been closed, the museum itself has remained open, continuing to host visitors and temporary exhibitions.

Regarding the upcoming exhibition, Hernández outlined plans to update the associated graphic content and presentation style to include multimedia elements, making it more contemporary. “It will be modest, but with updated content,” Hernández assured, expressing optimism that the new exhibition would be ready before year-end.

Tenerife museum reopens after 7 years, featuring aboriginal Canary Island pottery

Initial work will focus on updating three display cases, constrained by the high costs and specific requirements of modern display technology, which includes controlled relative humidity and temperature settings below 18 degrees Celsius, essential for conserving ceramic materials. Plans are in place to continue with improvements to the remaining two cases next year.

Pottery holds significant cultural importance in Guanche society, not only in daily life but also in burial practices, reflecting a belief in the afterlife and the provision of necessary items for the deceased’s journey. The museum aims to enhance visitor engagement with this rich cultural heritage through its renovated displays and updated presentation methods.

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