This is part of a decision to enhance the status of the structure to that of a ‘coastal museum’

The Victoria Jubilee Museum on Mahatma Gandhi Road in the city is all set to get a revamp as part of a decision to enhance the status of the structure to that of a ‘coastal museum’.

The government has finally woken up to the need to give a facelift to museums, most of which are in a dilapidated state. As part of the decision, funds to the tune of Rs. 4.8 crore have been earmarked for the purpose.

“We intend to build two more replicas of the existing museum on the same campus. All features will be same except that one of the new structures will be slightly more spacious,” Umamaheswara Rao of the archaeological wing in the AP Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) told The Hindu.

Sources in the department indicate that the department has a wealth of gold, silver and bronze coins dumped in strong rooms for want of space in the museums. It is believed that the treasure trove includes nearly 17,000 gold coins.

Most of them were discovered in the Rayalaseema region.

Sources said since the coastal region does not have a major museum, plans are afoot to revamp the Victoria Jubilee Museum in a big way. Besides, construction of museums is also proposed at Srikakulam and Eluru, while the one at Guntur will be further developed and the structure at Nellore will be repaired.

Significant move

The Kadapa Collectorate has shifted, paving the way for the department to take over the old structure for its utilisation.

The move assumes significance in the wake of the impending bifurcation of the State. The authorities concerned feel that they must create adequate space to exhibit antiquities that reflect the rich and glorious past of the given region.

The enormous archaeological treasure has been languishing in dingy rooms away from the domain of public viewing. Serious dearth of funds to repair, renovate, expand or build new museums that can house this treasure, has defeated the whole purpose of preserving the prized collection of antiquities.

The Victoria museum, constructed in ashlar masonry, is a classic example of the Indo-European architectural style.

The foundation stone for the building was laid by Robert Sewell, the then Collector of the district, on June 27 in 1887, to mark the golden jubilee celebrations of Queen Victoria’s coronation. The building was constructed to house the industrial exhibition.

Later, it came under the control of the zamindars of Nuzvid, the Krishna District Board and Krishna Zilla Parishad. In 1962, the Department of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Andhra Pradesh, took over the building and established the archaeological museum.

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