New Developments at CP Nel Museum in Oudtshoorn
It was a joy for the CP Nel Museum in Oudtshoorn to celebrate 20 years of democracy with the opening of two exhibitions on 29 May 2014. The project, which took about two years to complete, forms part of the museum’s transformation plan.
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) allocated R630 000 to these projects: a new exhibition entitled “Oudtshoorn in die 20ste Eeu”, and the upgrading and renewal of the ostrich exhibition, the main content feature of the museum. The content of the ostrich exhibition has been expanded, updated and made more inclusive. It now reflects the contribution of all parts of the Oudtshoorn community to the town’s ostrich industry. The labels are now in all three official languages of the Western Cape.
New artefacts have been added and audio-visual material has been developed. Lighting and air circulation has been improved. In addition, the Absa Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees (KKNK) held in Oudtshoorn every year made a valuable contribution to the project. The Museum is the place from which Radio Sonder Grense (RSG) runs its annual KKNK radio coverage.
Outgoing Museum Manager, Sandra Smit said the history presented in the “Oudtshoorn in die 20ste Eeu” exhibition is a transformation project that went very well. “CP Nel Museum is the only museum with ostriches as its theme. The new exhibition about Oudtshoorn represents the whole community after a process of including everyone in the content development process.”
Refurbishments to the building have been completed through an investment of R880 000 by the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund. These funds were used for roof repairs; renovations and painting; digging drainage ditches; and reducing outside paving.
These building improvements, the new exhibition and the improvement of the ostrich exhibition put a rich and vibrant touch to one of Oudtshoorn's most prominent buildings in Baron van Reede Street.