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International Museum Day

What museums in Kolkata are doing this International Museum Day to intrigue you the most

The theme for this year is Museums for Education and Research

Debrup Chaudhuri | Published 18.05.24, 01:07 PM
From special functions to celebrate the occasion of International Museum Day to new exhibit openings, museums in Kolkata mark the day by events, celebrations and even free entry.

From special functions to celebrate the occasion of International Museum Day to new exhibit openings, museums in Kolkata mark the day by events, celebrations and even free entry.

All My Kolkata file photographs

It is International Museum Day and the theme for this year is ‘Museums for Education and Research’. Started in 1977 by the International Council of Museums, it is usually marked by events, celebrations and even free entry in museums across the world.

For the occasion, My Kolkata takes you on a journey though some of the city’s many museums and their best offerings for the day. From special functions to celebrate the occasion of International Museum Day to new exhibit openings, here is what you need to know about Kolkata’s museums this International Museum Day.


Victoria Memorial

At 103 years old, Victoria Memorial is a central part of Kolkata’s heritage. Situated in the heart of the city, the tribute to Queen Victoria holds a special place in the city’s landscape. To celebrate International Museum Day, Victoria Memorial Hall has a special activity planned, the first being a Museum Mystery Treasure Hunt. Open to all patrons of Victoria Memorial, it will be held between 11.30am and 1.30pm. Unfortunately, registrations have closed for the second event — a guided tour from 4.30pm, called ‘Victoria Memorial Hall: An Architectural Poetry.’ However, there is still a lot to explore in the form of its art and architecture as well as significance to Bengal’s cultural heritage.

Treasure Hunt: 11.30am-1.30pm

Special Guided Tour: 4.30pm

Ticket prices: Free entry to the garden and galleries on International Museum Day

Location: Victoria Memorial, Victoria Memorial Hall, 1, Queen’s Way, Maidan, Kolkata, West Bengal 700071

Indian Museum

Founded in 1814 at the cradle of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, the Indian Museum is India and Asia’s largest museum by size of collection. If you haven’t visited the museum yet, you definitely need to head over and check out the various exhibits from science to history and culture among other things. The mummy in the Egyptian gallery and the invertebrate fossils of several extinct species are major attractions at the Indian Museum. On the occasion of International Museum Day, Indian Museum will have the International Museum Expo 2024 where you can explore the diverse cultural heritage and wonders of the country with AI-based Digital Restoration of Ancient Sculptures and hands-on training on traditional preservation methods. For those who love archaeology, this is a must but even otherwise it is an intriguing exercise to understand how and why artefacts are preserved.

Where: Indian Museum

What: International Museum Expo-2024

Timings: 10am-6pm

Tickets: Free entry on International Museum Day

Address: 27, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Fire Brigade Headquarters, New Market Area, Dharmatala, Taltala, Kolkata, West Bengal 700016

Birla Industrial and Technological Museum

With the renovated ‘Transport’ section being inaugurated on May 18 as part of International Museum Day celebrations, Birla Industrial and Technological Museum is the place to be at. Last year, the museum unveiled the Vintage Voyage: Communication Technology gallery on Museum Day as well.

Discover the evolution of technology in science and industry over the last few decades at BITM. With galleries dedicated to mathematics, biotechnology, coal mine and popular sciences, BITM has an intriguing range of galleries that will make you keen to learn. Founded in 1959, and currently under the National Council of Science Museums, ministry of culture, BITM will be part of the International Museum EXPO-2024. Head over to Ballygunge and marvel at the best of science over the years. With various shows depicting different scientific principles, a tour of BITM should be an intriguing experience for people of all age groups.

What: Transport section inauguration

Where: Birla Industrial and Technological Museum

Timings: 9.30am-6pm

Entry Fee: Rs 40 per head

Address: Physics Block, Birla Industrial and Technological Museum, 19A, Gurusaday Road, Beside Ballygunge Ice Skating Rink, 19A, Gurusaday Dutta Road, Beckbagan, Ballygunge, Kolkata, West Bengal 700019

Science City

In its 26 years, Science City has become quite the city favourite. While their cable cars are a big attraction, Science City is the best example of learning made fun. Even those who took away absolutely nothing from the science textbooks will be intrigued by the display of practical science theories at this beloved city museum. A theory you found boring and drab in school will suddenly become the most intriguing thing you have seen — between the maritime exhibits and the interactive exhibits, this place can be a kid’s (or geeky adult’s) favourite playground. Hosting the International Museum Expo-2024, Science City will witness a large footfall on the occasion of International Museum Day. With several shows and exhibits for one to pique their interests, Science City is living up to its motto of Bringing Science to Millions.

What: International Museum Expo-2024

Where: Science City

Entry fee: Rs 70 per head

Timings: 10am-7pm

Address: JBS Haldane Avenue, Mirania Gardens, East Topsia, Kolkata, West Bengal 700046

GPO Postal Museum

While you may be accustomed to getting your mail via electronic methods, the evolution of mail is a unique transformation over the years. From pigeons to post offices have you ever wondered how the evolution of mail transportation has changed? Find out everything you need to know about the Indian postal system and its ever evolving methods at the Postal Museum at Kolkata’s General Post Office — India’s first general post office. From bullock carts, to palanquins to boats, mail has stood strong against the changing tide and times and to learn the historical importance of the postal system could be an amazing way to celebrate the occasion of International Museum Day. There is 250 years worth of history here!

What: Postal Museum

Where: GPO, Postal Museum

Entry fee: Free

Timings: 10am-4pm

Address: H8FW+5R6, Netaji Subhas Rd, Fairlie Place, BBD Bagh, Kolkata, West Bengal 700001

Alipore Museum

Inaugurated in 2022 as a museum, the Alipore Jail Museum is one that will give you the chills. Maintaining the age-old structure of the 116-year-old building, Alipore Jail is where several freedom fighters were put through a gruesome imprisonment by the British Raj. To pay homage to those who fought to their graves for our country’s freedom, a visit to this heritage structure is a must. The display gives one a deep understanding of exactly what the prisoners here were put through. The main attractions include Netaji’s cell block as well as a laser-and-sound show that takes place from 6.30pm. The Bengali light show starts at 6.30pm and the Hindi light show starts from 7.30pm. While Alipore Jail Museum doesn’t have any special programme planned for the celebration of International Museum Day, it will be open at its regular timings allowing patrons to learn the history of a dark time in India and the freedom fighters who shined bright through it.

Where: Alipore Jail Museum

Timings: 11am- 5.30pm

Light show timings: Bengali-6.30pm, Hindi-7.30pm

Entry fee: Rs 30 per head

Light show fee: Rs 100 per head

Address: 17, Judges Court Road, Alipore, Kolkata, West Bengal 700027

Space Physics Museum

The Space Physics Museum at the Indian Centre for Space Physics is one of the newer additions to the list of museums in the City of Joy. Boasting a remarkable display of all things space, the museum offers an unparalleled showing of astronomy and space exploration. From Neil Armstrong’s hair to rocks from Mars and the moon, the museum is an intriguing visit for everyone and not just science geeks. On May 18, the Space Physics Museums will be opening up a new exhibit — the tools used by two-time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling. The equipment that will be opened for public viewing will be those that Pauling used for research while developing his new technique for X-ray crystallographic analysis at the California Institute of Technology in 1962. Pauling is the only individual to have won the Nobel two times alone, without a partner.

Where: Indian Centre for Space Physics

Timings: 9am-6pm

Ticket price: Rs 100 per head

Address: FCW2+C66, 466, Mahakash Sarani, behind Metro Cash and Carry. 70 metres east of Jyotirindra Nandi Metro station, Nitai Nagar, Mukundapur, Kolkata, West Bengal 700099

Last updated on 24.05.24, 03:04 PM

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