THE project director behind the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka says the museum will silence its critics when it opens in May.
The museum held its first open day yesterday, the first chance for the public to gain a sneak preview of what the finished product will look like.
Speaking at the open day, project director Katherine Armstrong said there had been a number of challenges that had arisen during the construction.
The project has been delayed, although a final opening date in May has now been set.
Ms Armstrong said she was aware of the scrutiny the museum had been exposed to.
However she said the scrutiny had made those responsible even more determined to make the centre a true icon of Ballarat.
“It’s easy for people to look at the negatives and not the positives if you don’t know what is going on behind the scenes,” she said.
Yesterday the general public had the chance to take a look at the museum, which Ms Armstrong estimated was about 85 per cent complete.
The construction side of the building is finished, with just the internal fit-out and installation of artefacts – including the Eureka Flag – to be finalised.
During the open day more than 600 people took the opportunity to have a look at Ballarat’s newest tourist destination.
Of them was Noel Schutz, who has lived in Ballarat all his life and is eager to see what comes of the project.
Mr Schutz was also involved in the original construction and attended the open day too see the developments since he was last on the site a number of months ago.
“I really hope we end up with a really good attraction that people can be proud off,” he said.
“It’s got to be something people have a real connection with. It’s a lot more intricate than it really looks so it was a good chance to get down here and see how it is going.”
MADE will undergo a number of a number of test programs through March and April to ensure the museum is ready to officially open in May.
Ballarat residents will get free entry to the museum.