Ireland's Natural History Museum is set to close for several years to facilitate major renovations. 

The ambitious project aims to address several longstanding issues at the museum, including accessibility issues and the preservation of several collections.

Constructed in 1856, the Natural History Museum houses the Dead Zoo, which is home to thousands of specimens, ranging from elephants to insects. 

Lynn Scarff, Director of the National Museum of Ireland, said the building is no longer appropriate to house such a collection. 

"A drafty, leaky building that is not accessible to anyone with mobility impairment does not do justice to our wonderful visitors and the incredible collection we have in Natural History," Scarff told RTÉ News. 

Scarff added that extensive restoration works are required to ensure that the 168-year-old building will be available for future generations. 

The Natural History Museum will close its doors in September, but a new "Dead Zoo Lab" will open at National Museum of Ireland - Collins Barracks from spring 2025 to make the collection available to the public while the museum is closed. 

Conservation teams will now wrap up, collate, and manage the precious and historic artifacts at the museum over the coming weeks. 

Professor Cathal O'Donoghue, Chair of the National Museum of Ireland, said the museum will be missed when it shutters for restoration work. 

"We know it will be missed, it is a much loved and cherished part of our cultural and architectural history," O'Donoghue said. 

"Everyone working on the project wants to ensure that it is only closed for the minimum amount of time possible." 

Architects Fitzgerald Kavanagh and Partners, who are overseeing the restoration work, will start investigative work once the conservation teams have removed the artifacts from the museum. 

The investigative work and design phase will subsequently determine the extent of the work required, the length of the project, and the estimated cost. 

Paolo Viscardi, Keeper of Natural History at the National Museum of Ireland, told RTÉ's Morning Ireland that some artifacts at the museum were damaged following the "Beast from the East" snowstorm in 2018. 

"It snowed in the roof space of this building, because the roof isn’t good enough. That melted and then leaked into the rest of the gallery. So the elephant got covered in water, and that’s not good to taxidermy … Those are the sorts of problems we want to prevent in the future," Viscardi told Morning Ireland. 

The Natural History Museum previously reopened in 2022 after undergoing roughly two years of renovations.