09/18/2014 10:34 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 00:58 EDT

Quebec Museum of Civilization fire damage delays reopening

Fire damage to Quebec City’s Museum of Civilization is more extensive than originally believed and is delaying its reopening until Saturday.

It was hoped that parts of the museum that were undamaged by Monday's fire could reopen to the public today, but that proved too optimistic given the ongoing cleanup.

Three exhibit halls were damaged by the fire, which started in the museum’s roof, and the water used to put it out.

Museum officials gave journalists a guided tour of the damage on Wednesday. François Plamondon, the museum’s director of material resources, said the full extent of the damage is still being determined.

“There’s still the whole evaluation of the electrical system and the ventilation system to do, and the room beneath [the C’est notre histoire exhibit] that received a lot of water damage, as well as the room behind it,” he said.

The ceiling, walls and floors will all have to be rebuilt, a process that could take until March or later to complete.

Worst hit was an exhibit called C’est notre histoire that featured a collection of First Nations artifacts.

None of the artifacts perished in the flames but the room suffered extensive fire and water damage.

Julien Campion Vallée, a lighting technician at the museum, helped save the artifacts from the fire.

"We covered them with tarps, working as quickly as possible so as not to endanger us either… The priority for us is to save it, the history, the heritage. It was instinctive,” he said.

The museum’s conservationists are now in the process of assessing the artifacts for possible water and soot damage.