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Government Museum gets Rs 8.5-cr revamp plan

Last Updated : 14 January 2023, 07:43 IST
Last Updated : 14 January 2023, 07:43 IST

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Vegetation growing on the roof of the museum. DH Photo/B K Janardhan
Vegetation growing on the roof of the museum. DH Photo/B K Janardhan
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Chipped roofings, patches on walls caused because of water leaks during the rainy season, and objects kept in the racks with just one-line descriptions greet the visitors to the Government Museum. Located off Kasturba Road, this museum housed in a 157-year-old heritage structure is the second oldest museum in South India after the Government Museum of Chennai.

Pipal saplings are seen on this building as well. The plaster of the ceiling wall has come off at the entrance of the building.

The lighting is absent in many showcases and artworks, while the hall lights are not switched on generally. Visitors were seen using torchlights to view the sculptures. Shelves were in a dilapidated condition.

The artefacts and sculptures lack detailed curation and descriptions, thereby denying the visitors any information.

“What did you understand from this display?” When DH asked student visitors to Bangalore Museum, they said they were just moving from one display to another without really fully understanding what they were.

The maintenance of the museum is poor due to fund crunch. Sources say the Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage was allocated Rs 27 crore for last year, out of which Rs 11 crore goes into salaries. Using the remaining Rs 16 crore, the department has to take care of the conservation of 844 state-protected monuments, maintenance etc. Only Rs 2 crore is available for fresh projects, and the upkeep of the museum takes a backseat.

Plans for renovation

Vidya, Museum Deputy Director, said the Tourism Department has allocated Rs 8.5 crore for the revamp of the museum this year. Heritage Matters, a private company, is working on the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the renovation.

Now, the team is working at the canteen space on the museum premises. The DPR will be submitted this month. The fund is divided into the infrastructural and the curative work, the display formats and lighting.

In addition to restoration, the museum is planning to have a section for the public. Proper canteen facilities, gift shops, an auditorium for workshops, quiz competitions and historical talks etc are on the list of planned works. Right now the museum displays only artefacts, sculptures and paintings. After the revamp, the museum will have wood carvings and musical instruments displayed properly.

A Devaraj, Commissioner of the Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage, told DH that while there are 22 kinds of artefacts available in the museum, only six types have been displayed and the rest of it is kept in storage. The revamp will make space for everything, and curation and displays will also be taken care of to provide the best experience to the visitors, he added.

The works can be undertaken only after a committee under the additional chief secretary meets and gives its approval, he added.

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Published 14 January 2023, 07:33 IST

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