CM turns attention to Patna museum

Almost two months after chief minister Nitish Kumar visited Patna Museum in its centenary year for a first-hand assessment, his officials are mooting plans to develop it as per the requirements of present times.

By Dev Raj
  • Published 17.12.17
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Nitish Kumar at Patna Museum in October this year. Telegraph picture

Patna: Almost two months after chief minister Nitish Kumar visited Patna Museum in its centenary year for a first-hand assessment, his officials are mooting plans to develop it as per the requirements of present times.

"We are working on the instructions of CM sahib and our intention is to develop Patna Museum on the concept of 'museum for community' with better display and interpretation," said Arvind Mahajan, regional deputy director in the directorate of museum.

Mahajan said the art, culture and youth department, under which all state museums fall, has written to the building construction department (BCD) saying "the chief minister wants to develop Patna Museum and bring it at par with Bihar Museum. It has been requested to provide the blueprint for it."

As per an internal note circulated by art, culture and youth department, under which the state museums falls, the plans hinge on the display of priceless artefacts - that remain after shifting of all antiquities prior to 1764 AD to the newly inaugurated Bihar Museum - "in a proper, modern and artistic manner".

The existing false ceilings would be removed from the galleries and the halls opened to their full height. Air-conditioning and better lighting will be provided for ensuring suitable display of artefacts and paintings.

Iron grills fixed on the windows of the famed museum built in Indo-Saracenic or Mughal-Rajput architectural style, replete with jharokhas or balconies will be removed and, if all goes well, the existing windows could be replaced with "full-length toughened glass windows".

A senior official from the art, culture and youth department said replicas sold as mementos could be improved upon and instead of making them with the help of Plaster of Paris, modern technology, including 3-D printing as practiced in museums in developed countries, could be used.

"Patna Museum has a very attractive natural history collection and the plan is to improve its display substantially. The collection could be spread to more rooms in the museum. We also intend to get conservation work of priceless artefacts, clothes and paintings started with help from specialists," the senior official said.

As per plan, dilapidated structures within the Patna Museum premises, where objects discovered during excavations are store, will be demolished.

An inventory of artefacts will be created and conserved.

Moreover, there are plans to have trial trenches near the gate of the museum campus as archaeological findings have been reported from there.

The officials will also explore the possibility of having a live archaeological excavation at the place.

A light-and-sound show on the front façade of the museum building is also in the offing.