March 28, 1996
Vol. 15, No. 14

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    All Oriental Institute galleries closed for renovation as of April 1

    As of Monday, April 1, the Oriental Institute Museum galleries will be closed for a two-year period as the museum begins its renovation.

    The temporary shutting of the Assyrian, Mesopotamian and Special Exhibit halls is the last step in the gradual closing of the museum's galleries. The Egyptian gallery was closed in February. The museum's Suq gift and book shop will continue normal operations throughout the renovation project, which is expected to be completed in spring 1998. Educational programming for adults, children and families will also continue to be offered during the construction project, both at the Oriental Institute and in cooperation with local cultural institutions.

    The galleries are being temporarily closed for a major renovation project that includes the construction of a 14,000-square-foot wing for artifact and archival storage; the creation of a multifunction room for educational programming, an Archaeological Research Center for Oriental Institute faculty members and graduate students and an expanded computer laboratory adapted for the analysis of archaeological data; the relocation of the conservation laboratory; and the expansion of the Research Library stacks. Climate-control equipment will also be installed for the galleries and artifact storage areas.

    Portions of the Oriental Institute Museum's collections will be displayed in three special exhibits at the Smart Museum of Art, beginning with an exhibit of Egyptian art in September. Portions of the collection can also be viewed on the Oriental Institute's World Wide Web site: http://www-oi.uchicago.edu/OI/MUS/OI_Museum.html.

    The Assyrian, Mesopotamian and Special Exhibit galleries will be open through Sunday, March 31. For museum hours and exhibit information, see page 6.