The Indian Museum is all set to bring more collections in public view by opening up 20 more galleries. Thirteen of these galleries will be located at Belvedre House on the campus of National Library while seven will be located at Currency Building in Dalhousie Square.
“Most of the museums in the world have huge collection of artefacts but only 4 to 5 percent of these exhibits can be displayed. Lack of space is one of the major constraints on the part of the museums across the world and the 206 year old Indian Museum is not an exception. The Centre has given us the nod to expand our museum and accordingly we have started working on it,” said Rajesh Purohit, director of Indian Museum.
The Indian Museum has 1.08 lakhs artefacts in its collection and only 5 percent of them are in display. Both the Belvedre House in Alipore and the Old Currency Building have gone structural renovation. The Belvedre House is a heritage while the Currency Building is a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey Of India.
According to Purohit, the Belvedre building will have varied images and objects with each exhibition based upon a different theme. There will be exhibits on the theme of gods and goddesses like Shakti, Shiva, Bishnu and also on the flora and fauna of Indian art dating back to several years. Visitors in the building will also have access to using the Belvedre library. One of the galleries in Belvedre has already been unveiled in March.
The Currency Building exhibits will have a predominance of sculpture works with a separate gallery on Textile and another on Women in Indian Art. There will be also artefacts on Tibetan, Burmese, Chinese and South East Asia. There will be a cafeteria and cultural events as part of activities of the museum will be held from time to time.
“Our collection in the textile sector is very enriching which dates back to over 200 years but only a few of them are on display in the Indian Museum. People who want to take up research in textile will get enough material,” he added.
The Indian Museum authorities is optimistic of unveiling all the galleries by January 2020. “The two new destinations will surely give a big boost to tourism,” said Purohit.
The best example where the expansion of a museum has taken place in the recent past is the Metropolitan Museum in New York. This museum has spread its wings on the bank of river Hudson.