Lee Kuan Yew memorial exhibition extended to May 24

SINGAPORE - The memorial exhibition for the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, which was slated to end on April 26, will be extended by nearly a month to May 24, the National Heritage Board said in a statement today.

From April 10, opening hours for In Memoriam: Lee Kuan Yew will also be stretched till 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays. The last visitor will be admitted at 9pm.

The exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore's Glass Atrium is otherwise open from 10am to 8pm daily.

It attracted thousands of visitors on Friday, prompting museum staff to close the queue at 4pm due to the four-hour wait. The museum also had to deploy staff to manage the crowd at the Glass Atrium, which can only accommodate 250 people at any one time.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong said in a Facebook post yesterday that the crowd at the exhibition 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," he wrote.

He said in another Facebook post later that he had asked the National Museum to extend the run of the exhibition as well as its opening hours during weekends.

In Memoriam: Lee Kuan Yew chronicles the life and political career of the founding prime minister of Singapore, who died on March 23 at the age of 91.

The exhibition, to which admission is free, features a selection of photographic images and audiovisual recordings and artefacts from the National Collection.

The red box used by Mr Lee as his briefcase is also on display along with some of his other personal items.

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat wrote about the red box in a Facebook post on March 24.

In the post, he said that Mr Lee had used the red box every day to carry documents he was working on at any one time until Feb 4, the day before he was hospitalised.