The National Museum, the repository of the country's glorious past, is all set for a makeover.
The long-neglected museum has embarked on a renovation programme to attract more visitors. By January next year, the museum will wear a whole new look, thanks to architectural renovations and new display patterns it plans to introduce in the foyer, corridors and galleries.
"The idea is to improve the aesthetics of the most-visible areas of the museum and start new outreach programme to attract more visitors. We have
involved museum experts from India and abroad in our makeover plan. We have set ourselves a strict deadline to achieve the target," says CV Ananda Bose, the first administrator of the museum.
The foyer will have new designer dome and a completely refurbished souvenir shop that will sell much wider range of replicas and merchandise, including T-shirts, posters and mugs with cultural and historical motifs.
The museum, which has never made a serious effort to market itself and connection with people, also plans to expand its cultural calendar by organising state-specific cultural weeks that will have art exhibitions and cultural performances in its lawns.
As part of its outreach programme, the museum has also introduced the concept of ‘The Gallery of the Month' and "The Object of the Month", which will be displayed in the foyer.
"We also plan to attract schoolchildren by introducing special interactive sessions on history for them. Besides, we will also have regular interactions with citizens' groups to make the museum a happening art and cultural space, which people have a reason to visit regularly," said Bose.
The museum has about 200,000 artifacts in its collection, but usually only about 6% of them are on display at any given time and many have never been displayed at all.
"All the artifacts in the museum's collection will be regularly circulated to the galleries. We will adopt modern museology techniques to preserve and display artifacts. The selection of podiums and lightings will depend on the nature, aesthetic value, age and condition of the object on display," Bose added.
The museum has 27 galleries out of which 7 are presently closed. Three of the closed galleries will be opened soon. While one will display musical instruments, the other two will display wood carvings from across the country. The museum has also roped in British Museum and Victoria Albert Museum for renovating its bronze gallery.