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Museum artefacts on Taiwan tour

For the first time since its inception in 1814, the Indian Museum is sending an exhibition on art and culture to Taiwan. About 160 art objects, including paintings, sculptures and pictures, have already reached that country, museum director Shyamal Kanti Chakravorty said on Thursday.

The exhibition will be mounted at the National Museum of History at Taipei from April 22 till mid-July. The art objects will be back in the city by August. The rare art objects were despatched to Delhi first, from where they were taken to Taiwan.

Deputy director of Indian Museum Shaktikali Basu and costly art objects made of ivory, wood carvings and paintings have already reached Taiwan. Basu will help the museum authorities hold the exhibition, officers in the museum said.

Chakravorty said the exhibition followed an agreement signed between the two museums during his visit to that country last year. The director of the National Museum of History has visited the Indian Museum to select the art objects that will be exhibited.

It is expected that Taiwan will reciprocate in a similar manner by holding an exhibition in Calcutta after the exhibition of Indian art objects is over. All the 160 rare objects are covered by insurance.

The exhibition will reflect India’s cultural relations with south Asian countries like Myanmar, Nepal, Java and Malaysia. The exhibition opens on April 22, in the presence of both the directors of the Indian Museum and the museum in Taiwan. Chakravorty is leaving on Friday for Taiwan to attend the inaugural ceremony of the exhibition.

Informed sources said the museum was sending such an exhibition abroad after a long gap of 10 years, thanks to some restrictions on sending art objects abroad. The Centre imposed such restrictions to check the loss of rare objects from a number of national museums in the city.

The museum authorities have not displayed most of the 160 art objects in the city during the past 10 years because all such objects belong to a “very rare category” and should be displayed under special security arrangements. Ten years ago, security arrangements at the Museum were not as tight as they are today, and the authorities did not take the risk of displaying these objects without adequate security measures.

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