Photo/IllutrationThe Kawasaki City Museum is submerged at basement level in Kawasaki’s Nakahara Ward on Oct. 15. (Hiromi Saito)

KAWASAKI--A municipal museum here said it will temporarily freeze its collection of ancient documents and paper records to prevent mold growing after they were soaked in flooding triggered by a typhoon last month.

The museum, which opened in 1988, had to shut down after torrential rains from Typhoon No. 19 inundated its basement where the storage rooms are located.

The museum boasts a collection of about 260,000 items, including precious clay artifacts, antique documents and drawings.

It also has a sizable collection of manga, photos and video footage, making it a unique presence in the nation.

Items kept in the nine basement storage rooms were damaged in the flooding, as was power and ventilation equipment.

The museum estimated the damage at 7.2 billion yen ($66.2 million), or higher.

The museum initially planned to put the damaged articles in a cold storage warehouse as they need to be kept at a low temperature to prevent mold growing after being soaked.

But officials decided to do otherwise as the warehouse also stores food.

After weighing possible options, it was decided to place the paper articles in freezer containers that will be installed on the museum’s premises.

On the issue of repairs, city officials are soliciting donation from the public to help finance them.

The museum took out insurance to the tune of about 4.2 billion yen on about 90,000 items in its collection. It said the policy was only for fire and theft, so no insurance money will be forthcoming.