| The new museum complex. Telegraph picture |
Jorhat, Sept. 13: Artefacts and relics related to Assam’s history stored in a college for the last two decades will soon find a new home.
The authorities of Jorhat museum hope to showcase the artefacts stored in two rooms of Government Post-graduate Training College for the last two decades at the new portion built with Rs 40 lakh funded by the state government.
The authorities will shift the artefacts and other items to this new section after it is formally inaugurated.
“The dream of getting a proper museum to display these relics will be realised soon but there still is a lot more work left to be done. The double storied structure has to be completed and the PWD has prepared another proposal to complete this,” the district museum officer, Gautam Bordoloi, said.
Set up in 1989 in a rented house, the museum was shifted to the government post-graduate training college in 1996. Most of the artefacts and old xansi paat texts are wrapped up to protect them from getting damaged.
“Once these artefacts and ancient texts are put on display, Jorhat’s importance on the tourism map will automatically rise,” Bordoloi further added.
Jorhat MLA Rana Goswami had laid the foundation stone of the Rs 40 lakh-museum on the campus of the inspector of schools’ bungalow on 2.5kathas of land on September 2, 2010.
The Finance Commission sanctioned the funds for the museum under the heritage protection programme.
The PWD has designed and constructed a section on the ground floor and has made out an additional Rs 80 lakh proposal for completion of the 4,000 square foot area museum.
PWD (buildings) executive engineer P.K. Dey said the upper floor would house galleries, display areas, lounge, a storage room, office and toilets. The other part of the ground floor, which will have a gallery and visitors’ resting area and toilets, is not yet complete.
“Nowadays, the norm is to complete a part of any office so that work can be done from there and then we go on to do the other parts as and when money is sanctioned by the government. The museum can be shifted any time after the bills are cleared,” he said.
Bordoloi said the museum would be a multipurpose one with separate galleries for artefacts, antiques and other items related to history, culture, ethnography, science, painting and costumes.
“If space permits, we would like to have a room to hold seminars and show videos,” he said.
The museum has rich collection of more than 800 items, including pre and Ahom-era sculptures, manuscripts, hangdans (double-edged sword used by Ahom soldiers), traditional Assamese musical instruments, royal and ethnic costumes, bronze and wooden statues, paintings, masks and coins.