A Termite Infested Museum May Now Contain Damaged Relics That Were Once Priceless
Although termites can be problematic in regions as far north as Canada and Russia, the greatest diversity of termite species reside in tropical regions. Not surprisingly, termite species are particularly well represented on island countries and within rainforests. This makes the island of Brunei a major termite hotspot. This island country is notable for its extensive tropical rainforests and abundant rainfall. Naturally, termite-induced property damage is common on the island nation. Unfortunately, termite damage has now claimed the Brunei Museum. The infestation is so extensive that government officials are not sure if the museum can be salvaged. After more than four years of growing infestations, many museum officials as well as members of the the public fear that numerous artifacts have been destroyed by the invading termites.
Brunei’s National Museum was officially closed due to a termite infestation on January 28, 2014. Initially, officials believed that the infestation could be eradicated in time to save the structure as well as all of its displayed artifacts. However, subsequent inspections have revealed that the infestation is growing much more rapidly than previously assumed. Brunei’s Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports has recently stated that the termite infestation has spread to all five galleries of the museum. The growing termite population within the museum has damaged the building’s electrical wiring and air conditioning system. This news has disappointed many citizens of Brunei as well as tourists who want to see the largest museum in the nation reopened to the public. The advanced state of the infestation has surprised tourists who show up to the museum only to be turned away by armed guards. For the past four years, the issue concerning the museum and its costly repairs has been discussed several times during political assemblies. However, the museum may remain closed indefinitely due the high cost of repairs.
Do you think that less developed nations are more vulnerable to the negative economic impacts of termite-induced property damage? Can these nations afford preventative termite treatments for all new construction projects?