Canterbury Museum is being closed temporarily as a safety measure because of earthquake risk.
The Canterbury Museum Trust Board said it decided with "a heavy heart" to close the museum doors until further notice while assessments are carried out on its structural integrity.
"This temporary closure of the Museum has not been made lightly," said chair Michael McEvedy.
"The decision has been driven by the Board's duty to ensure that public safety remains the priority at all times."
McEvedy said the "cautious and conservative" decision was made after in-depth consideration of engineering assessments, peer reviews and opinions.
Investigations into the structural integrity of the building will be carried out in two areas of the museum.