Dynamite Museum and heritage walks to be a feature of International Museum Day
The Dynamite Company Museum and historic Franz Hoenig Haus in Modderfontein will open to the public on Saturday, May 19, in celebration of International Museum Day. This is one of just two days a year that the house is made accessible to all.
The museum and house will be open between 8.30am and 12.30 and a heritage walk led by Robbie Vermont will take place at 9am on the day. This walk is so popular that booking is essential as only 20 people can be accommodated. Cost of the walks is R50 per person.
International Museum Day has been observed all over the world since 1977. This year the International Council of Museums (ICM) selected the theme: Hyperconnected museums: New approaches, New publics.
“The objective of International Museum Day is to raise awareness of the fact that museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among people,” says the ICM. Organised on and around May 18 each year, the events and activities planned to celebrate International Museum Day can last a day, a weekend or a whole week.
The Dynamite Company Museum, while chronicling the technical history of AECI as a producer of explosives and chemicals, also provides a social commentary and insight into the part played by some of the world-famous figures who helped shape the destiny of southern Africa. The contribution made by AECI’s polyglot workforce is included in the story told by the museum.
The museum is located at 2 Main Street in Modderfontein in one of the first two domestic houses built there back in 1895. This house was occupied almost continuously for close to 90 years before being restored in 1987 to house The Dynamite Company Museum.
The facade is almost exactly as it was when the house was built by Austrian, Italian and German artisans.
Bookings for the guided walk can be made through Robbie Vermont on 011 608 2693 or 082 800 3704.
Museum hours are Tuesday to Thursday from 8:30am to 3.30pm, Friday from 8:30am to 2pm, and Saturday from 8:30am to 12:30. Groups can make arrangements to visit on Thursdays by contacting the curator, Lodwick Mahasha on 011 608 2747 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Photo: The first private residence to be built in Modderfontein in 1896 now houses The Dynamite Company Museum.