Bastion Bungalow museum to be opened next month

Bastion Bungalow in Fort Kochi. File photo  

After several delays, a museum at the Bastion Bungalow in Fort Kochi is set to be inaugurated next month, breathing life into a monument that has remained closed to the public for years, except for the courtyard around it.

COVID-19-induced restrictions had set work back by around two months and delayed the inauguration, said R. Chandran Pillai, executive director, Keralam Museum, the nodal agency appointed by the government to set up and refurbish museums across the State. The building’s proximity to the sea would make it difficult to place metallic objects on display, he said.

The museum will be a thematic one that is meant to tell the story of Kochi, mostly through copies of nearly 120 archival records from museums in London, Chennai, Kolkata, and others, Mr. Pillai said. Permissions are being sought from other museums that house these records to replicate them here.

The bungalow, said to be nearly four centuries old, is a monument protected by the Archaeology Department. “Since it is a protected monument, structural changes cannot be made to it. The exhibits will all be standalone ones that will not alter the existing building in any way,” he added.

Some civil and electrification work is yet to be completed and will be over in around three weeks. The project was to be executed at a cost of ₹3.5 crore. Sections of the bungalow were said to have been constructed by the Dutch over the relics of Fort Emmanuel, which was built by the Portuguese.

The monument was briefly thrown open to the public a few years ago, with a few artefacts transplanted from the Hill Palace Museum. But it was shut again later, and has remained closed since, save for the courtyard of the building which is open to visitors. Mr. Pillai promises that this time, the bungalow will house a unique display.

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Printable version | Mar 2, 2021 10:29:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/bastion-bungalow-museum-to-be-opened-next-month/article33596222.ece

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