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Updated: February 18, 2012 09:45 IST

Visakha Museum needs to be modernised

G. V. Prasada Sarma
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Curator of Visakha Museum showing the shells and seaweeds, which were recently put up on display at the museum in Visakhapatnam. Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam
photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam
Curator of Visakha Museum showing the shells and seaweeds, which were recently put up on display at the museum in Visakhapatnam. Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam

Many exhibits lack even basic information

Visakha Museum that is part of the itinerary of discerning tourists has a few curios added to its collection. They are not new but have been on display afresh.

Half-a-dozen sea weeds and a number of sea shells have made a comeback to the museum. They are part of the collection given to the museum by marine archaeologist E.V. Gangadharam. Bursa spinosa and Glycmeris gigantea are among the shells.

Also among the new artefacts are the ones donated a few months ago by Sheikh Altaf Hussain, a descendant of former jagirdar of Bhimunipatnam and its titular Nawab.

They include silver-coated pan box and soap box, an antique, unique model table clock and a porcelain soup bowl.

Precious collection

The museum is spread over 20,000 sft and is run by GVMC. It has a number of antiques throwing light on the history and culture of region, the invaluable contribution from various erstwhile kings of the region and the entire collection of paintings donated by painter and writer and retired Head of the Department of Theatre Arts of Andhra University Abburi Gopalakrishna. The fibre sculpting of life-like facets of life in north Andhra and the girijan area by Triangle Fine Arts has of late been added to the attractions in the museum.

But several of them lack even basic information. For instance, armoury, a number of swords, daggers and knives and guns donated by the Rajahs of Vizianagaram are prominently displayed. The make of a gun, who acquired it, when it was used, how the armoury was worn, who was entitled to wear it etc will be of interest to the visitors.

“We have asked the MANSAS trust to provide us the information. Alternately, we are also trying to contact some teachers from Andhra University to help us organise it better,” says Museum Curator M.N.A. Patrudu.

Notes lost

Some of the descriptive notes were lost during the shifting of the museum to the new building in 2005.

A few years ago the Director General of INTACH-Indian Council for Conservation Institutes, Lucknow, had visited the museum and suggested rearranging galleries theme-wise, create new galleries on the history and traditions of the region, acquiring new artefacts and documentation of objects as well as proper storage facilities, among other things, for modernisation of the museum. The estimated cost at that time was about Rs. 1 crore.

The proposal, however, has not yet materialised.

Keywords: Visakha Museum

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