Visitors to the Victoria Memorial Hall here would not have thought that the old-wooden table in a nondescript corner of one of the galleries was once the writing desk of the famous 19th century Bengali novelist and author of Bande Mataram , Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay.
The authorities of the Victoria Memorial will formally unveil the restored artefact on Saturday.
The author’s birth anniversary fell earlier this week.
“The table was donated to Victoria Memorial by the author’s grandson Brojendrasundar Bandhyopadhyay in 1937. However, over time it fell into disrepair and lay neglected,” Swapan K. Chakravorty, secretary and curator of Victoria Memorial Hall, told The Hindu on Friday.
The initiative to restore the table and display it prominently followed a leadership training programme organised by the Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the British Museum. Two employees of the Victoria Memorial Hall participated in it.
A senior restorer of the museum, R.P. Savita, was asked to pick up a single object in the museum that lay in a neglected condition and see how it may be brought forth to public interest, Dr. Chakraborty said.
At the unveiling of the artefact, Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, who authored Vande Mataram: The Biography of a Song, and Biswajit Ray, associate professor at Vishva Bharati who has written Bankim: Kathaa, Lekhaa, Kaaj , will speak about the life and works of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay.