SINGAPORE - The Lee Kuan Yew memorial exhibition, which is slated to end on April 26, will be extended due to overwhelming response, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Mr Lawrence Wong said in a Facebook post Saturday.
"All the artefacts you see in the current exhibition will be retained and curated in the soon-to-be revamped permanent galleries of the Museum," he added. The permanent Galleries of the National Museum will be opened around Aug/Sept 2015.
Mr Wong also reassured Singaporeans that the National Museum of Singapore will be planning a permanent exhibit to tell the story of Mr Lee and Singapore's founding fathers.
The Lee Kuan Yew memorial exhibition attracted thousands of people on Friday, prompting museum staff to close the queue at 4pm due to the four-hour wait.
The museum had to deploy staff to manage the crowd at the Glass Atrium on the museum's second level as it can only accommodate 250 people at any one time.
The Glass Atrium is where exhibits of Mr Lee's red box, barrister wig and Rolex watch are kept. A maximum of 15 visitors are allowed to view the exhibits at three-minute intervals due to safety reasons.
The museum started a priority queue for the elderly, pregnant and the disabled on Friday.
Mr Wong said in an earlier Facebook post on Friday that the crowd was unprecedented. "We have seen big crowds for blockbuster exhibitions, like something from Musee d'Orsay, but for history exhibitions, typically we have not had such big crowds.
"It is very good to see such renewed interest in our founding fathers, Mr Lee in particular. This is something we hope to build on when we revamp our permanent galleries, which will be happening later in September."
Despite the exhibition being open since March 25, the queues started forming after the National Museum announced the red box as a new addition to the display at the exhibition on Thursday.
Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat, who served as Mr Lee's principal personal secretary from 1997 to 2000, said in a March 24 Facebook post that the red box was a symbol of Mr Lee's dedication to the country, as he had used the box every day until Feb 4, the day before he was hospitalised.
Mr Lee died aged 91 on March 23 and Singapore went into a week of national grieving.
In Memoriam: Lee Kuan Yew is open daily from 10am to 8pm at the Glass Atrium, Level 2, National Museum of Singapore until April 26.
Admission to this exhibition is free.
I did plan to go visit the #leekuanyew exhibition at National Museum, but changed my mind upon seeing the queue. Moreover, the museum personnel said that from where I'm standing, the waiting time is at least 2.5 - 3 hrs. Wah kau so long!! Nvm, I shall go there another time... gonna watch movie at The Cathay