PM to unveil plan for new Museum at North and South Blocks next week

The initiative has been undertaken to commemorate the 47th International Museum Day.

May 10, 2023 04:33 pm | Updated May 11, 2023 07:36 am IST - New Delhi

Prime Minister and senior BJP leader Narendra Modi. File

Prime Minister and senior BJP leader Narendra Modi. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Plans for the ‘Yuge Yugeen Bharat National Museum’ at the iconic North and South blocks of the national capital will be unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi next week.

The plan would be made public using a virtual walkthrough at the International Museum Expo on May 18.

The North and South blocks are buildings in the Central Secretariat complex built during the 1930s. While the South Block houses the Prime Minister’s Office, the External Affairs Ministry and the Defence Ministry, the North Block is home to the ministries of Finance and Home.

The government had announced plans to convert the North and South Blocks into museums in 2021.

“All the galleries of the (current) National Museum would be shifted to the new site and the current building would become part of the ‘Kartavaya Path’,” Minister of State for Culture Meenakshi Lekhi said on Wednesday.

The foundation of the current National Museum had been laid by late first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1955.

The new Museum at North and South blocks will depict the story of India’s rich civilizational culture of 5,000 plus years showcasing the various sections or ‘khands’ tracing the continuous journey of Indian civilization, the Union Culture Ministry said. The Museum will cover an area of 1.17 lakh sq mts with 950 rooms spread over a basement, ground and two more floors.

Apart from unveiling the blueprint, the three-day International Museum Expo would be a first of its kind show which aims to facilitate a holistic conversation and showcase the diverse cultural heritage exhibited by various museums across the country.

The initiative has been undertaken to commemorate 47th International Museum Day. There will be a focus on various themed museums, which will be explored through workshops, seminars, master classes, panel discussions and other events.

As part of its efforts to turn museums into cultural spaces, the ministry is bringing out illustrated museum playing cards, a 12-level app-based game to introduce museums to the gaming community and an excavation activity for children to introduce them to the concept of Archaeology.

In addition to this, five Memorandums of Understanding would be signed with nodal departments of New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Varanasi and Ahmedabad for cultural spaces in these cities.

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