Disappointing news in today’s Canberra Times that the charming and unique shop at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House is to close after 16 years of operation.
The shop is run by the National Trust of Australia (ACT) and has always relied very heavily on its wonderful band of volunteers to co-staff it.
It seems unlikely that the shop could easily re-open elsewhere in Canberra and be able to afford the rent, given that it has already been struggling at MOAD.
It is also hard to imagine a building and location more appropriate for a National Trust shop than where it already is.
How sad that a building and location as iconic as Old Parliament House can no longer sustain a gift shop. What has happened to all the visitors that used to crowd through the doors there? There should be Dismissal-type demonstrations on the steps there to keep the shop open! It too is part of Canberra’s – and Australia’s – heritage.