HIROSHIMA – The east building of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum reopened Wednesday following renovations that include a new multimedia display showing images of the city before and after the U.S. bombing in 1945.
The museum said its main building will be closed Wednesday for quake-resistance works, with the aim of reopening in July 2018.
In the newly reopened building, a 90-second video shows visitors how Hiroshima was destroyed by the atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945, with computer generated imagery projected on a 5-meter-wide model of the city.
In addition, 34 touch panels have been installed for visitors to read information about the bombing and its aftermath in English and Japanese.
The building will also display cranes made by Sadako Sasaki, who became an icon for peace after folding more than 1,000 origami paper cranes while being treated for leukemia 10 years after the attack. She died at the age of 12 in 1955.
The museum also displays paper cranes made by former U.S. President Barack Obama when he visited Hiroshima last May following a Group of Seven summit in Japan.
Along with the temporary closure of the main building, the well-known diorama of A-bomb victims — three mannequins of a woman and two children walking through the burning cityscape with their skin sagging from burns — was retired on Tuesday. The 2013 decision to remove the figures elicited mixed reactions, with some visitors saying the display was too frightening, while A-bomb survivors said the actual horrors were much worse.
“We plan to use the figures when we hold exhibitions looking back at the history of the museum,” said Kenji Shiga, the museum director.