The Telegraph
Monday , February 3 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Museum set for makeover

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 2: Vandals will no more be able to deface the boundary wall of the State Museum as the culture department is going to put a grill fence around it.

The authorities also plan to construct a circular pathway going around various wings of the complex that will be fitted with closed circuit television cameras and luggage scanners.

Director of culture and superintendent in charge of the museum Sushil Kumar Das told The Telegraph: “The state government has made provision of Rs 1 crore to start the process for a better ambience and security at the museum. The construction of the iron grill fencing is the first step in this direction.’’

While The Telegraph has been regular in pointing out the museum’s sorry state of affairs, its November 25 report — ‘Security issue keeps artefacts out of sight at museum’ — prodded the department to take action.

A highly-placed source in the culture department said: “The initial budget of Rs 1 crore for the facelift of the museum is just a tip of the iceberg as the government is ready to spend to the tune of Rs 20 crore in the current financial year.’’ The culture director said the state museum was a storehouse of many priceless objects recovered from various places across the state, including 1,000 gold coins.

It also had some very rare coins belonging to 6th century BC to 6th century AD.

Sanjay Tripathy, who come from Mayurbhanj district to visit the museum today, said: “It is surprising to find that despite having such a large collection of historical artefacts, the museum has no CCTV camera. It is a must to keep a tab on the visitors and the employees as well.’’

The state museum at present has a collection of 56,375 artefacts. While 55,485 are displayed in 10 galleries, 890 are still gathering dust in the storerooms.

Defacing of walls

Of late, defacing of walls has become a major concern for government and private buildings and landmarks across the city. The State Museum is a major victim because of its strategic location.

It’s for a long time now that the museum wall is the favourite spot for political parties, film producers and business groups to promote their cause by sticking posters.

The municipal commissioner in the past had started a campaign to make the walls and the newly constructed structures such as flyovers free from posters and graffiti, but the effort did not succeed.

Only in case of the Jayadev flyover on NH-5, posters were removed by the agency engaged in construction.