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Delhi’s iconic Gole Market to house museum of culture and history

Delhi’s iconic Gole Market near Connaught Place could soon be turned into a museum to house materials of cultural and historical importance – all related to Delhi. Built in 1921, the market is a heritage building near Connaught Place. It was declared dangerous in 2007

delhi Updated: Jul 24, 2017 10:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Gole Market,Gole Market redevelopment,NDMC
The Gole Market at Connaught Place was built in 1921. It is a heritage building which was declared unsafe in 2007 and the shopkeepers were evicted. The NDMC will now convert it into a museum of Delhi’s culture and history.(Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)

Delhi’s iconic Gole Market near Connaught Place could soon be turned into a museum to house materials of cultural and historical importance – all related to Delhi.

“We have decided to convert the heritage building of Gole Market into a New Delhi museum. The restoration project and setting up of the museum is likely to be completed by the September, 2018,” said Naresh Kumar chairperson of New Delhi Municipal Council.

The building’s facade as per the NDMC’s plan. The museum would have four components – photo exhibition, documentary films, freedom movement and paintings and sculpture. (NDMC)

Besides photographs and other display material such as paintings, statues and literature based on the socio-economic, cultural and political aspects and conditions of pre- and post-independent period of the country, the contribution and sacrifice of freedom fighters would be also depicted in the museum.

“The museum would have four components – photo exhibition, documentary films, freedom movement and paintings and sculpture. We are in touch with some organisations, government departments and individuals o procure rare items,” an NDMC official said.

Rare photos like the ones from the Delhi Durbar of 1911, in which the decision to shift the country’s capital to Delhi was announced and photos depicting construction work of Lutyens’ Delhi would be displayed in the photo exhibition gallery.

There will be a documentary film section, which would act like a mini-amphitheatre where citizens would be able to see some documentary films and news reels related to Delhi. (NDMC)

“We are in touch with some organisations such as Mahatta & Co in Connaught Place which has some rare collections. Besides this, efforts are on to procure old and rare photos from the archives of the ministry of information and broadcasting. Some old time photographers also have a good collection which would like to display,” said the official.

The documentary film section would act like a mini-amphitheatre where citizens would be able to see some documentary films and news reels related to Delhi both from the pre and post independence era.

The third section on freedom movement would tell stories of India’s struggle to freedom and the various incidents that took place in Delhi and the freedom fighters such the Hardinge Bomb Case of 1912.

A section will show works of India’s eminent painters and sculptors. (NDMC)

The last section would include the artwork of India’s eminent painters and sculptors depicting the cultural and socio-economic aspects of Delhi of both pre and post independence era.

The revitalization plan also involves architectural restoration of historic edifice, creation of a central food court, provision of toilets, drinking water, and fountains in the courtyard,” the official said.

“The museum will provide an opportunity for free discussion and dialogue. It would help to sensitize teachers, adults, youth and woman organizations through interacting discussions on the government programmes and activities for the promotion and better understanding of its heritage and its agenda for national growth and development and general emancipation,” he added.

Built in 1921 at Point Y, as a subsidiary market to the prime business centre of Connaught Place, this market was designed to serve the needs of the residential population, primarily centred around grain, milk, vegetable and general market.

This is however not for the first time that renovation plans for the Gole Market is being planned. Several shopkeepers had to be shifted after the redevelopment plan was conceived in 2006. It led to a long drawn legal battle between the NDMC and local traders until the Supreme Court passed an order in NDMC’s favour in 2013. The structure was declared unsafe in 2007.

“They have been saying this for the past several years. They were supposed to complete the renovation before the Common Wealth Games. It was only because of this renovation that all the shopkeepers had to shift. Some of the shop keepers were doing business since the 1940s,” said Ravi Kant Jain, officiating secretary of the Gole Market Traders Association.

“The purpose of conservation of this building is not to freeze its current status but to adopt it to a modern use of modern facilities sensitively,” said Kumar.

First Published: Jul 24, 2017 10:10 IST