4 Indian museum galleries to reopen, 9 to be converted in 75th year of independence | Kolkata News


Kolkata: four galleries of Indian Museum (IM), which has remained closed for more than a decade and a half, will soon be open with the reopening of nine galleries on the occasion of Azadi Ki Amrit Mahotsav – the 75th anniversary of India’s independence. While these galleries are unlikely to open by the Independence Day deadline, they will certainly open in the next few months and well ahead of the holiday season and winter, when attendance spikes dramatically.
The Indian Museum, chosen as one of India’s five iconic museums for such a major restoration project, is already decked in white against its leafy quadrangle after repairs and a fresh coat of paint. IM is also rationalizing its exhibition space by relocating non-exhibition activities to other buildings at its disposal.
A huge exhibition space could be managed by moving the preservation laboratory elsewhere. The space is now used for the March to Freedom exhibition, jointly organized by the Delhi Art Gallery (DAG) and IM.
“We are going to open the Harappan Gallery which has been closed for 15 years. So were bronze, human evolution, cultural anthropology and Musk galleries. We are revamping the Mauryan, Bharhut, Gandhar, Numismatics and Archeology Galleries,” said IM Director Arijit Dutta Chowdhury.
The oldest and largest museum in the Asia-Pacific region, IM has more than 1.1 lakh objects, but only 6% of them are on display. “The restoration project aims to make the museum more inclusive and interactive,” said Sayan BhattacharyaIM Education Officer.
The entrance plaza, gift shop and cafeteria will undergo alterations, and a new building is planned to replace the dilapidated staff quarters. “We have a plan to move the collection from the reserve, the IM treasure and the conservation laboratory,” an official said. The renovation by CPWD is worth Rs 4.4 crore. “Unlike previous NBCC work, there will be a maintenance contract. The maintenance of the structural part of the IM is in good hands,” Chowdhury said.
An organization like Ant-hropological Survey of India has also freed up space for IM. “We plan to move the central library from IM, occupying 6,500 square feet. If we can unlock these spaces for display, we can bring out more items from the stash. We can also organize more exhibitions in collaboration with foreign museums,” Bhattacharya said.


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