The National Planetarium in Manila is temporarily closing its doors and having its 46-year-old building decommissioned, the National Museum of the Philippines announced on Monday, Oct. 11.
"There are times in the life of a beloved institution where a long chapter has to be brought to a close in order to start a new one, for a new contemporary world and a new set of generations of Filipinos," the National Museum wrote on Facebook.
Additionally, the National Museum said the decommissioning is to give way to the National Parks and Development Committee's (NPDC) development plans for the central and western Rizal Park, which includes proposals for a National Museum Complex for the National Planetarium, National Museum of Anthropology, and National Museum of Natural History.
The National Museum also said there are also plans to reopen a new building for the planetarium.
"We are sad to retire the old building, which has in its own way been a landmark in Manila and a pillar of the National Museum of the Philippines as a whole, but we are excited and motivated to work to deliver a new facility that will breathe new life into the National Planetarium as a beloved institution," the post read.
It added that the new facility will be designed to serve the public with a "unique experience that only a world-class planetarium can provide."
The National Planetarium was first inaugurated in 1975. It closed for two months in 2018 for renovations and reopened later in January 2019. Similar to other museums in the country, the planetarium shut its doors amid the COVID-19 pandemic.