Administrators of the new Museo de Jade hope to have 6,881 archaeological pieces on display when the structure is open to the public. That is nearly six times what is on display now in the first floor of the Instituto Nacional de Seguros on Avenida 7.
Museum officials said Thursday that they were shutting down the facility temporarily in order to design the displays that will be in the new building.
That building is opposite the Museo Nacional just west of the Plaza de la Democracia between Avenida Central and Avenida 2 in San Jose’s downtown. Officials hope that the developing museum row will attract more visitors.
The Museos del Banco Central with its world famous gold collection is several blocks to the west.
The jade museum does much more than put archaeological pieces on view. There have been many dioramas that contain pieces that have been selected meticulously to correspond with what is being presented. The museum announcement Thursday said that an interdisciplinary team would be working to construct the new exhibits.
The desire to have nearly every piece on display is unique in the museum world. Most museums present a sampling and keep the bulk of the collection in secure storage. The New York Museum of Natural History does this, as does the Museo Nacional here, which maintains a large warehouse in Pavas. The Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, for a time kept many items boxed up, and in large shipping crates left in the museum hallways.
The Museo de Jade also is unique in that curators have developed an ethnological section with displays on the modern native inhabitants of the country.
The museum is operated by the state insurance company, and many of the holdings are gifts from amateur archaeologists who were working in the field long before the professional practice of archaeology came to be in Costa Rica.