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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

National Museum to have an extension at Red Fort

According to official sources, sculptures from the reserve collection of the National Museum will be shifted to three buildings at Red Fort.

delhi Updated: Apr 13, 2019 10:30 IST
Vanita Srivastava
Vanita Srivastava
New Delhi
National Museum to have an extension at Red Fort. (Photo: Gokul VS/Hindustan Times)
National Museum to have an extension at Red Fort. (Photo: Gokul VS/Hindustan Times)
         

In an effort to display artistic items kept in the reserve collection, the National Museum in Delhi will, for the first time since 1960, soon have an extension at Red Fort.

According to official sources, sculptures from the reserve collection of the National Museum will be shifted to three buildings at Red Fort. One of the three buildings is presently occupied by the Institute of Archaeology, which will be moved to Noida.

The initiative to shift the items from the reserve collection to a new space, for a wider public display, was mooted recently by the ministry of culture.

 

“We are in the process of finalising the arrangements for shifting some of the items from our reserve collection to Red Fort. This will start soon after the buildings are vacated. To begin with, we will move sculptures relating to different period, religion and styles. We propose to organise a thematic display of different items with the consent of the ministry of culture,” Dr B R Mani, director general, National Museum, said.

National Museum, a subordinate office under the culture ministry, was inaugurated on August 15, 1949 at President’s House and moved to its permanent location on December 18, 1960.

The Museum has 29 permanent galleries, on three floors, representing the museum’s diverse collection, which represent the rich heritage of India.

Initially, around 500 sculptures have been identified for moving to Red Fort. At one time, only 5-10% of the collection gets a display in the museum. The rest are kept in the reserve collection.

“The idea behind this is to get more people to see the artistic treasure. Eventually we will shift paintings and manuscripts but we have to first ensure they are able to adjust to the varying climate conditions,” Dr Mani said.

Experts, however, feel the items that are shifted to Red Fort should have a ‘connect’ with its history.

“ In my opinion, it will be better if only those items are housed that are contemporary with the Red Fort. Placing objects that have no connect with the history of Red Fort should be avoided,” says K N Dixit, general secretary, Indian Archaeological Society.

Even Indian Museum in Kolkata has started the process of shifting items from its reserve collection to Currency Building and Belvedere house of the National Library. “This is a very good initiative to bring the objects out of the store and make them accessible to people,” Indian Museum director Rajesh Purohit said.

First Published: Apr 13, 2019 04:52 IST

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