An earthquake on February 5 shook the world’s most seismically active region, causing extensive damage to a museum and a truck house, the head of the museum’s building and construction department said on Monday.
Al Jazeera’s Sami al-Arian, reporting from Dubai, said the museum was damaged by a tremor in the vicinity of the capital, and the building and its contents were moved from one part of the country to another.
“We were very worried that the building could collapse, that we would be unable to repair it because of the earthquake,” Ali al-Najafi, head of Al-Museum, told Al Jazeera.
“However, we did not fear it.
Our mission was to show the world the beauty of our country, the beauty that Saudi Arabia has to offer, and that we had never suffered any loss of life.”
He said the building was initially damaged by the quake but was saved by the work of local people.
“Our people, the people of the Gulf state, are amazing and the people there are caring and they were able to rebuild the building quickly,” al-Ansari said.
Al-Nabawi said he was confident the museum would be able to reopen after the quake, although the museum remains closed to visitors.
“After the earthquake, we have a strong hope to reopen the museum, but the situation is very difficult because the damage is not under control,” he said.
“But we have hope that the earthquake will be able, or that it will not happen again.
We are hopeful, but we will not say what is the best decision right now.”
The museum is located in the old city of Jeddah, which was built in the late 19th century.
It was built with a total of 2,000 tons of concrete and sand to accommodate the museum.