Waiting for a flight? Take in some art


aRT ATTACKArtworks adorning the T2 Integrated Terminal inaugurated recently at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.Photo: PAUL NORONH 

Travellers at the new T2 terminal building at Mumbai Airport can check out an exhibition

An airplane ticket serves as the ticket to enter the museum. Travellers who pass through the new T2 terminal building at Mumbai Airport can pass the time waiting for their flight by viewing an art exhibition.

The art show stretches some 3 kilometres along the elegantly curving walls of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. Modern art is at home here alongside 1,000-year-old artefacts from all around India.

Artfully carved window frames from Rajasthan and wooden temple carts are among the items, as well as terra cotta horses, totem figurines, masks and statues of gods.

The special museum, with its 7,000 artworks, is not only the largest in India, but it also could soon become the most-visited one anywhere in the world. This is because up to 40 million passengers will be passing through the terminal annually.

By comparison, the Louvre counts 10 million visitors annually, and the British Museum fewer than 6 million. There is an art exhibition at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, but it consists of just 10 works of art displayed in a special room.

In Mumbai, by contrast, the walls are painted up to 18 metres high and can be seen from every floor of the terminal.

“We have divided the museum up into 28 sections, each one managed by its own curator,” says an airport spokesman.

One section shows everyday life in Mumbai with scenes from Bollywood films and from the world of finance. Among other items, there is a detailed map of the port city made of the circuit boards of old computers.

The historical display items were gathered from cities, villages, private collections and museums around the country.DPA

 

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