Nitish museum wows PM Modi

Bihar's showcase to the world

By Dev Raj in Patna
  • Published 15.10.17
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Chief minister Nitish Kumar shows the Yakshini to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Bihar Museum in Patna on Saturday. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh

Patna, Oct. 14: It was a historical moment for Bihar Museum today as chief minister Nitish Kumar played guide to visitor Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Modi showered fulsome praise on Nitish's dream museum built at Rs 517 crore with international expertise and inaugurated on Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary on October 2 this year.

In the visitors' book, the Prime Minister wrote in Gujarati: "The museum inspires towards show of devotion and curiosity. It is the best place to experience the congregation of history and culture. Congratulations."

In fact, Modi's visit to Bihar Museum was not scheduled. He enquired about it and expressed his desire to see it after arriving in Patna, much to the surprise of Nitish, who was present at Patna airport to welcome him.

The chief minister told Modi: "If you inspect it, we will also benefit from your guidance in this regard."

Modi went to Bihar Museum after the function. The common visitors had by then told to vacate the premises.

Chief secretary Anjani Singh is the museum's nodal officer and has been involved in it since its conception. He and Nitish gave the Prime Minister a lowdown on its concept and need.

Governor Satya Pal Malik, Union minister for consumer affairs, food and public distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan, deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Bihar Museum director JPN Singh and state archaeology director Atul Kumar Verma were also present on the occasion along with officials and experts associated with the museum.

Modi was first taken to the orientation gallery that provides a synopsis of the state's history and legacy and then to the temporary gallery hosting a painting exhibition on "Mahatma Gandhi through the eyes of artists".

Explaining the nuances, Nitish directed him to the contemporary art gallery and then to the regional art gallery, where he was awestruck by a large Kohbar painting done by Godavari Dutta of Madhubani fame.

Modi's visit stretched from the expected 10 minutes to 30 minutes. Nitish took him to the historical art gallery and showed him the world famous 3rd Century BC stone sculpture of Yakshini.

Sources said Nitish told Modi how and why the sculpture is rated among the best in the world and is as mysterious as the smile of the Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris.