Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday termed as 'unfortunate' the failure of four premier cultural institutions in Kolkata, including the Victoria Memorial and National Library, to fully utilise a special allocation of Rs.90 crore given for modernisation.
The ministry of culture had made the allocation to Asiatic Society, the Indian Museum, the Victoria Memorial and the National Library.
"Each of these institutions is a cultural icon in the country. Unfortunately, these institutions have not been able to fully utilise this grant in the first year," the prime minister said at the Science City here.
Manmohan Singh hoped that the institutions will work harder to utilise the allocated funds.
"I do hope that these four institutions will work harder to use the allocated funds to introduce state-of-the-art systems of preservation, display and storage of their priceless antiquities, paintings and manuscripts," he said.
Describing the modernisation of the National Library as a priority task, the prime minister expressed his happiness that its catalogue of 24 lakh books would be available in digital format online, in around six months.
The central government was also examining a proposal from West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee proposing the setting up of a Kolkata Museum of Modern Art though public-private partnership.
The prime minister said his government was also keen to convert the Acharya Bhawan of India's great scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose into a science heritage museum.
"We have taken steps for improving the Sir Jadunath Sarkar Archives and Museum. The Ministry of Culture will also assist in the revival of other historic cultural institutions of Kolkata like the Acadmy of Fine Arts and the Government College of Art," he added at a programme in the Science City auditorium.