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Renovated with oomph

A time when almost everything in the city is under construction due to the Commonwealth Games, the Museum shop at the National Museum of India has also been revamped.
By Aakriti Sawhney | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON SEP 27, 2010 12:35 AM IST

A time when almost everything in the city is under construction due to the Commonwealth Games, the Museum shop at the National Museum of India has also been revamped. From papier mache products to handbags to bronze sculptors and miniature paintings, everything at this newly done store looks prim and propah.

“Every product has a reference to what we have in the Museum. We have taken samples and recreated them on various products in the shop like T-shirts, note pads and home décor pieces. The scarves in the shop have the famous Mughal miniature painting — Darashikoh — which shows the Mughal prince’s wedding procession,” says Neha Prasada, a media consultant and one of the brains behind this concept.

“Besides, we also have jewellery pieces done specially for the museum shop by Amrapali (a jewellery label). With various bajubandh and coin necklaces, they make a perfect mix of tradition and modernity,” adds Prasada.

To ensure that the best of ‘Made in India’ products are available at the shop, some of the finest producers from Indian circuit have volunteered to work towards this endeavour. One of them is Good Earth, which is providing an exclusive range of mugs and cushions in traditional motifs made for the museum shop. Others contributors include Roli Books, Moksha, a company that makes scarves and stoles for museums worldwide.

The team that works on this project also includes Adil Ahmad, a Delhi-based freelance interior designer. He said, “It was a challenge to give a new look to the shop with such a minimal budget. After a lot of brainstorming, we came up with some amazing ideas. We got local artists to do Madubani paintings, not on a canvas, but on a very cheap cloth. The results were stunning. We have used that on our windows. It not only gives a hip look to the store, but also diffuses the sunlight during the day time. Also, we have used the basic blank paint as the background and bricks to make our blocks.”

This project is being jointly taken forward by The Handicrafts and Handlooms Export Corporation of India and a group of civil society people. “The project is not only to give a new look, but also to a new concept to this shop,” says Malvika Singh, a part of the project. “We want the museum shop to be of international standards. We will change the range of products every six months,” adds Singh.

The museum shop is located at The National Museum of India, Janpath. Timings: 10 am to 5 pm. All the products are priced between R50 to R2 lakh. The shop will be formally opened tomorrow.

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