On International Museum Day on Wednesday, the Government Museum, Egmore, launched facilities aimed at encouraging children to visit the museum.

The museum has developed an indigenous audio-guide facility for the World Civilisations Gallery at the Children's Museum. The facility would provide information about the 15 showcases dedicated to various civilisations in the world.

Available on website

The audio-guide, which comes in a MP3 format, would provide information in English and Tamil. According to the curator K. Sekar, the aim is to upload it on to the Museum's website.

“Children can download it to their computer or to hand-held devices such as a mobile phone. They can walk around the gallery and learn at their own pace about the displays,” he said, adding that arrangement would be made to use the museum's equipment to download the audio-guide.

As part of the event, the refurbished science park, which houses 22 gadgets to describe principles of science such as the swinging of pendulum, DNA model and Periodic Table of elements, was also inaugurated.

The facilities were launched by T.S. Sridhar, Commissioner of Museums. On the occasion, K. Moortheeswari, Deputy Superintending Archaeologist, Museum Branch, Southern Region, Chennai, gave a talk on ‘Museum and its significance'.

At the museum in Fort St. George, Munira (12) and Insiya (13) from Bhopal keenly observed the panels on display. “We have read about kings and queens only in our history books,” the children said as they gaped at the portraits of British rulers.

On the first floor of the museum, dozens of panels were displayed explaining how sculptors and painters across the country had depicted scenes from the epic Mahabaratha.

Photographs of sculptures and paintings in temples in Orissa, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, including the bas-relief in Mamallapuram of Arjuna's penance were exhibited.

Students' delight

If the lay visitor was fascinated by the displays, students of archaeology and epigraphy intently studied the photographs of the sculptures for symmetry, beauty and correctness. M. Marudhu Pandian, a student of archaeology, argued endlessly with his fellow classmates that sculptors over-dramatised some scenes, such as the one where Arjuna aimed his arrow at the fish. But, his friends differed with him and contended that they would debate the issue in class.

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