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Home / Cities / National Gallery is no place for heroes

National Gallery is no place for heroes

Dampness in walls, damaged ceiling posing threat to portraits of Indian freedom fighters, sculptures, murals on freedom struggle

cities Updated: Oct 30, 2019 01:08 IST
Rachna Verma
Rachna Verma
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
T
T(HT PHOTO)

Its ceiling is damaged, the dampness destroying the walls and paintings. There is dust everywhere.

The National Gallery, set up in the memory of Indian freedom fighters in the basement of the TS Central State Library Sector 17, is certainly unfit for heroes. If an urgent overhauling is not carried out soon, the gallery’s priceless collection of portraits of Indian freedom fighters, rare documents, sculptures, ceramic murals and publications on India’s freedom struggle, photos and paintings, will be destroyed.

Admitting that things needed to be fixed, museum director Radhika Singh said the gallery’s location in the basement made things worse because of the resultant dampness.

“The washroom of the main library is always being repaired, which makes the situation worse,” she said, adding that she was in touch with the engineering wing of the UT administration to fix the problem and expected things to be sorted by next week.

Swadesh Talwar, president of the resident welfare association of Sector 44B, a visitor at the gallery, complained that there was no light in the museum.

The damaged ceiling and walls with seepage were an insult to the memory of the freedom fighters, he said, adding that even basic drinking water facilities and washrooms were missing.

A cursory look at the entry register kept at the entrance also showed that just two people had visited the museum on the day of his visit, Talwar said.

WALK DOWN THE AGES

Chandigarh’s gallery of portraits is unique as it documents India’s freedom struggle right from the first movement for Independence in 1857, its brutal suppression and the day the country finally became free.

The museum was inaugurated by Gen (retired) SF Rodrigues, then governor of Punjab and UT administrator, in 2007.