By Minerva Newman
CEBU CITY – The provincial government of Bohol represented by governor Edgar Chatto turned over the deed of donation documents of the newly restored 1855 Provincial Capitol building to the National Museum (NM), represented by director Jeremy Barns, during the 121st Philippine Independence Day celebration in Bohol.
“Today, we are signing a commitment to the National Museum (NM) that as long as the building exists, we commit to give the Bohol Capitol to be the home of the soul of the Boholanos,” Chatto said.
It would be opened as a museum to house everything Boholano. The building used to be the Tribuna, converted into military quarters and was later used as Bohol’s Provincial Capitol until 2013 when the earthquake shook its foundations and partly damaged the structure.
The building, which has 1,256 sqm of floor space, was declared an important cultural property which was restored by the national government through the National Museum. It is protected from alterations of its designs and interior layout, according to the National Heritage Law, Chatto stated.
During the soft opening of the restored building, NM acting assistant director Angel Bautista said they closely supervised the restoration while the contractors did major works to address issues on hollowed foundation, recent design alterations and structural retrofitting to bring out the essence of the old structure.
Bohol’s voluntary donation of the restored capitol to the National Museum also came after the government gave Bohol P700 million for a new capitol building, Chatto bared.
The newly restored building now shows the Spanish period architecture, opening the 861.32 square meters of floor spaces as galleries. About 112 sqm will be for offices spaces of the future National Museum Satellite Office in Bohol; over 120 sqm. for laboratory spaces, 91.6599 sqm. for shops, and 70.3624 sqm. for private areas, the out-going governor bared.
The museum officially opened on June 12, presenting the exhibit of Bohol’s rich culture and history at the Governor’s Gallery at the second floor of the newly restored building.