Lucknow: 1857 museum at Residency set to reopen soon | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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Lucknow: 1857 museum at Residency set to reopen soon

The 1857 memorial museum in the Residency in Lucknow, a reminder of the first war of independence, is set to reopen after restoration work.

lucknow Updated: Sep 08, 2017 13:43 IST
Oliver Fredrick
The artifacts preserved at the memorial museum in the Residency.
The artifacts preserved at the memorial museum in the Residency.(File Photos)

The 1857 memorial museum in the Residency in Lucknow, a reminder of the first war of independence, is set to reopen after restoration work. Its custodian the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is busy giving final touches to the old structure after which it will be thrown open to the public.

ASI officials said the agencies and the experts of IIT-K were done with the job. “The museum building has been strengthened. We are now busy handling the problem of damp and trying our best to remove moisture from the basement, where the 1857 museum was housed,” a senior ASI official told HT.

The Residency’s museum was established in 2002. Housed in the basement of the main building (model room) of the Residency (the place that once served as a refuge for 3,000 British inhabitants during the 1857 Uprising) the museum was closed six months back, when dampness was spotted in the basement walls, leading to corrosion in the preserved artifacts.

“Museum visitors often complained of humidity in the basement. But the losses the damp caused to the museum and the shelved artifacts became visible only six months back,” said a caretaker of the museum.

Closure orders were issued immediately and public entry into the museum was banned. The other part of the museum on the ground floor remained open.

ASI cited water seepage from the surrounding lawns as the main reason behind the dampness..

In 2016, ASI approached IIT-K professors and the experts suggested soil testing. Officials said soil testing was done to ascertain the soil holding capacity and the strength of museum walls in the basement of the Residency. It was concluded that the soil around the basement area (where the museum exists) was extremely porous. Then the experts gave detailed guidelines to ASI on restoration of the museum building.

The guidelines suggested insertion of a water proof sheet at least 2 metres deep inside the ground to cut the walls’ contact with the surrounding soil and preventing the chances of water seepage. Besides, it was also suggested to avoid any activity in the area around the museum building.

Officials said the basement area was now ready after the plinth protection work and other preventive measures to check water seepage and moisture. “Agencies at work are now trying to remove the leftover moisture and dampness from the basement area after which the basement area would be re-used as a museum,” said Indu Prakash, superintending archaeologist, ASI, Lucknow.

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