The Government Museum in Madurai, which testifies the rich cultural, historical and religious heritage of the region with its rare exhibits, will have an additional gallery soon, where pictures depicting the historical significance of the temple city and metal relics will be exhibited.

According to A. Periyasamy, the State government has sanctioned Rs. 5 lakh for the revival of the museum.

The Government Museum located inside the Gandhi Memorial Museum premises showcases relics such as antique Chinese ceramics, palm leaf manuscripts, bronze statues, urn burials, Palaeolithic, Microlithic and Neolithic tools, potsherds with graffiti marks and artefacts from various excavations.

A portion of the 3,500-square feet building remained dysfunctional for more than a decade after it became dilapidated and the ceiling started to fall off. The Gandhi Museum administration, as part of its ongoing renovation process, allocated funds and repaired the 1,600-square feet portion of the Government Museum building which remained locked-up because of its dilapidated condition.

This has given a new lease of life to the Government Museum, which required better infrastructure to display the pictures and other relics, which were not exhibited in the museum due to lack of space.

“We have also made arrangements to bring in metal relics from Chennai for display in the new gallery. The works are set to begin next week and the new gallery will be open for the public by March this year,” Mr. Periyasamy told The Hindu on Thursday.

Meanwhile, following theft of bronze artefacts and replicas from the display at the Government Museum, Egmore, in December 2013, some of the priceless bronze artefacts exhibited at the museum here were shifted to the Government Museum, Pudukottai, recently.

Mr. Periyasamy said the museum in Pudukottai is the second largest government museum in the State and will provide better security to the artefacts.

The Madurai museum draws a large number of visitors.

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