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New gallery for veiled Rebecca

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BETTER DAYS AHEAD: The veiled Rebecca at Salarjung Museum.
BETTER DAYS AHEAD: The veiled Rebecca at Salarjung Museum.

Staff Reporter

Ten other statues to give company to this pride of Salar Jung Museum

Special care being taken to design new gallerySJM also planning two other galleriesAdditional 200 Chinese and Japanese exhibits to be put up on displayMuseum records increase in visitors

Hyderabad: Now one can eye the veiled Rebecca in a cool environment. The gorgeous lady, who appears to be draped in a wet garment, is a big draw at the Salar Jung Museum (SJM). Visitors take their own time relishing the beautiful face hazily visible through a marble veil. Now they can enjoy this Italian masterpiece in air-conditioned surroundings.

The SJM authorities have decided to showcase the statue of veiled Rebecca in a new gallery in the central block.

Ten other statues will give company to this pride of Salar Jung Museum. Seasonal statues now kept in the verandah are proposed to be placed in the air-conditioned gallery being readied.

"It is one of the crowd-pullers and we are taking special care to design the gallery and its interiors," said A. Nagender Reddy, in charge director of SJM.

Exquisite work

The veiled Rebecca stands out for its anatomical perfection. A melody in marble, the essence of feminine beauty has been chiselled with consummate skills by Italian sculptor Benzoni. This statue is currently placed in room 16 all by itself.

Two other galleries - Far Eastern Porcelain and Far Eastern Statutory and Enamel - are also getting ready.

Costing Rs. 15 lakhs each, these galleries are expected to be thrown open to the visitors by July. An additional 200 Chinese and Japanese exhibits from the museum stores will be on display.

"We are trying to segregate artefacts based on the origin of the country," Mr. Reddy said.

Meanwhile, the rush of visitors to the museum has registered an increase. For the last one week, the number of visitors has gone up from 3,000 to 3,500 per day.

In May, the visitors are expected to cross the 5,000 mark. Visitors to the Nizam jewellery exhibition have also increased by 200 to 300 per day. 1.20 lakh persons, including 1,200 foreigners, have visited the jewellery exhibition making the SJM richer by Rs 73 lakhs. Initially the response was poor.

In March the visitors dropped in considerably because of examination season. With the jewellery show scheduled to end on May 31, authorities expect the rush to peak next month.

Lockers

Once the jewellery exhibition ends, the authorities plan to shift the lockers kept at the eastern block for the convenience of visitors to the SJM.

There are some 500 lockers for visitors to deposit their personal effects before entering the jewellery gallery.


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