West Bengal government to renovate 166 district-level and rural museums
The Union Ministry of Culture has allocated Rs. 100 crore for the renovation of Indian Museum, Kolkata, and wants the country’s oldest museum to become the role model for all other museums of the country, Minister for Culture Chandresh Kumari Katoch, said here on Sunday.
Participating in an event that marked the beginning of bi-centenary celebrations of Indian Museum, Ms. Katoch said the Ministry of Culture is committed to reforms in museums in the country and bring them to international level under the Museum Reforms Programme of the Union Government.
Two new institutions in the city — the Victoria Memorial Hall and the National Library — will also be renovated by the Ministry, she added.
Referring to the grand collection of the Indian Museum, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the artefacts have a great historical value not only for the country but also for the world.
She announced that the State will soon take up restoration and renovation of 166 district-level and rural museums and some archaeological sites. Commenting on the Indian Museum, the State’s Governor M.K. Narayanan, who is also the chairman Board of Trustees of the institution, said in recent years the Indian Museum had come to be seen as something “old, dusty, boring and barely relevant.” Footfalls had declined and compared unfavourably with other museums, especially in the West.
The Louvre museum in Paris had 10 million visitors last year and in the United Kingdom half of the adult population visits a gallery of museum every year, he said.
Mr. Narayanan pointed out that during his visits abroad he had been to the Metropolitan Museum in New York and The Louvre Museum in Paris to see if some of the galleries of the Indian Museum could be organised on similar lines.
“As a lay museologist I can only say that given the variety and nature of the exhibits and the modern layout, the restored Indian Museum compares favourably with the iconic museums.” he said.
- ‘Ministry of Culture is committed to reforms in museums’
- It has become old, dusty, boring and barely relevant: Governor