Reason behind the decision to shift the National Museum

Synopsis:

The government is planning to shift the National Museum in Delhi to the North and South Blocks. This would serve the collection, comfort, and audience experience needs of the Museum in a better way.

Background:
  • The National Museum in Delhi is a repository of India’s rich history and proud heritage.
  • However, now the government has planned to shift it to the North and South Blocks.
Why the national museum is being shifted?
  • Bigger space: The new location is four and a half times bigger than the current space. This would enable organizing bigger and better cultural events. Bigger space would also allow hosting national and international travelling exhibitions, which is not possible in current space.
    • Advancement in technology has increased the speed of excavations in the country. This would generate greater artefacts in future which would require bigger storage space.
  • Enhanced display potential: Current building only displays 6% of its 2 lakh cultural collections available with the museum. The new museum would enable the creation of additional galleries for enhancing display potential.
  • Expansion of National Museum Institute: The new building would enable the expansion of the National Museum Institute (NMI). The students of NMI would benefit from a large increase in laboratory, gallery and teaching facilities. 
    • Further, it will allow incorporation of NMI’s programmes in Museology, Art History and Conservation along with other programmes in Archaeology, Archival Studies and so on.
  • Vulnerable & old design: The current building is of outdated design and more vulnerable to disasters and pests attacks.
  • The move is in line with international practices. For instance, the Egyptian Government is planning to replace the crowded Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square in Cairo with an impressive Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza.
Way Ahead:
  • There are certain challenges associated with the National Museum. But, the revamped National Museum would become the foundation for a vibrant museum movement in India. 
  • The government should duly preserve the artefacts until the new building is completed. Upon completion, there should be careful movement of artefacts with safe packing and robust transportation facilities.

Source: The Hindu

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