The closure and subsequent fencing off of Rotorua's most iconic building has been heart-rending to witness.
The Bath House, which houses the Rotorua Museum, is a stunning 112-year-old building perched in an immaculate setting of parkland, gardens and geothermal oddities.
It's as much a part of the fabric of Rotorua as the Pohutu geyser, St Faith's church or Kuirau Park.
I remember visiting a Goldie exhibition at the museum years ago, and even before that, attending different school holiday programmes the museum used to have on offer.
It was revealed this week that the museum's reopening is delayed a further four years, with the council projecting its opening in 2025.
This means that it will be closed almost a decade before being opened again.
As Ryan Gray from Evolve Rotorua pointed out: "An entire generation of Rotorua mokopuna will go through their school years without an opportunity to see the rich history of our city through the objects sitting in museum storage."
While a lot of the museum's taonga are languishing in storage, some of the key art pieces were sent to Tauranga Art Gallery in 2018 as a part of the Beyond Geyserland exhibition.
Works by Charles Goldie, Theo Schoon, Colin McCahon, Tony Fomison, Robyn Kahukiwa, Ralph Hotere and Ans Westra were given a much-needed airing.
However, the exhibitions have been few and far between.
It is understood that a small exhibition will be held in the city later this year.
Tauranga knows what it's like to not be able to view its taonga. The city's heritage collection has been shut away in storage warehouses for years as various iterations of "a Museum of Tauranga" have been scoped, debated and ultimately, squashed.
I know that time and an extreme amount of care need to be taken to get the Rotorua Museum refurbishment done - there is just no getting around that.
But the museum directors and the council need to think outside the box – how can the Rotorua public be allowed to experience what the museum has to offer without actually having a physical building?
While plans are being formulated as to how the exhibitions will be designed after its opening, let's get some things going now.
The city's museum has an important role to play in the community – to preserve, protect, educate and promote our natural, social and cultural heritage.
It's imperative that we support this kaupapa.
Rotorua's heritage is rich and varied and should be shared – building or no building.