Members of the public will have to wait another few months to get back inside Aberdeen Council’s Treasure Hub – more than a year after other cultural offerings reopened following lockdown.
The Treasure Hub, which is located in Northfield, is used to store the many valuables and historical paraphernalia that are not on display at the city’s museums and galleries.
Before it was closed alongside other council facilities in March 2020, visitors were able to book ‘behind the scenes’ tours of the building one day a week and check out the more obscure portions of Aberdeen’s vast cultural collection.
But now the local authority has said the facility is not likely to reopen to the public until after the summer.
Council workers took the lockdown as an opportunity to move around 110,000 items two miles along the road from their store in Kittybrewster to the Treasure Hub, and this has prevented them from opening the doors any earlier.
They include “toys, local industry items, hobbies, sculpture, kitchenware, models of boats and textiles”, which might require extra-special care to keep in top condition.
An Aberdeen Council spokeswoman said: “Aberdeen Treasure Hub is closed at the moment as we complete large-scale moves of collections between sites which were delayed due to Covid-19 close working conditions.
“Now that Covid-19 restrictions have eased we are actively planning to welcome visitors back to take part in ‘behind the scenes’ tours of the Treasure Hub.
“We hope that these will resume in Autumn 2022.
“In the meantime we welcome visits by researchers by prior arrangement.”
Tricky six years since opening
The £6.5 million facility opened in November 2016, and soon attracted calls for better marketing after only three people had visited in the following January.
More unwanted attention came last year, when it emerged that Aberdeen Council had lost more than 1,300 items from its collection.
It is believed that a number of those items may have simply been miscatalogued while being moved from place to place – and may even be lurking somewhere in the Treasure Hub with a dodgy label.
In February, the city admitted that figuring out what had happened to the absent artefacts could take until 2028, unless a pair of collection documentation experts were hired at a cost of £71,000 a year.