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Museum sets year-end date

Boost for state’s handloom, handicrafts

Bhubaneswar, Aug. 21: A mega museum of the handicrafts and handloom treasures of the state will come up at Gandamunda by the end of this year.

While the construction of the building for the handloom block is nearing completion, work on the handicrafts block will start shortly. Two blocks of workshops with facilities to provide working areas to artisans will also be a part of the ambitious project.

The entire facility, including the workshops and two blocks of the museum, is coming up over 12.6 acres. The handlooms, textiles and handicrafts department is going to invest around Rs 22 crore on the project, which will be one of its kind in eastern India.

Joint secretary of the department Raja Parija said: “Construction of the building is likely to be completed by the end of this year, but the landscaping, design and creating an aura of rural Odisha may take some more time as there is a plan to recreate the miniature of a craft-based village such as Raghurajpur, which is famous for its pattachitras.”

Two blocks of the museum will be interconnected for the convenience of visitors. There will be a beautiful water body between the two blocks. The two blocks will have courtyards resembling those in traditional Odia homes and there will be lawn and plantation inside. The handicrafts block will display household objects, ornaments, folklore depictions, palm-leaf painting and stitching, stone carving, wood art and objects related to the Jagannath culture. There will be five galleries, a preparation room and a post-storage room for the preparation of display objects and their restoration, exchange and storage.

Likewise, the handloom block will have collections of ancient costumes, their evolution and contemporary designs. The six galleries planned for the museum will have collections of Sambalpuri, Kataki, Berhampuri silk, Bomkai and Khandua saris and appliqué works. Tussar fabric will also be added to the collection.

“The process of making handloom products will also be displayed inside the museum block. There will be a special display on the costume of tribal and fishermen communities and costumes related to the Jagananth cult,” said a senior official.

The handloom museum will also display the evolution of looms, preparation and transportation of different raw materials and a tribal court inside its complex. Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Idco) is the nodal agency, which is constructing the museum complex. R.K. Nayak, project head, urban haat division of Idco, said: “There will be a rural ambience with an open-air theatre and village kiosks to showcase the rural culture.”

Senior artist Tarakanta Parida, who runs Odisha Modern Art Gallery, said: “The concept is interesting and once completed, the facility at Gandamunda will perhaps become the city’s happening place for artists, designers and art-lovers.”

The plan also includes food courts inside the museum complex with special emphasis on Odia cuisine and traditional delicacies.