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State Museum in makeover mode

Odisha state government has prepared a blueprint for modernization of State Museum in Bhubaneswar with audio guides, souvenir shop, cafeteria, cloak room and parking space.

On International Museum Day on Sunday, two new galleries dedicated to handlooms and Pattachitra were inaugurated. Some rare collection of precious ivory works and 500-year-old gold and silver coins were also displayed.

“We have drawn up a plan for making the museum an epitome of Odisha’s cultural identity,” said culture secretary Arvind Padhee.

Padhee also said that more galleries would be set up on common themes such as Rath yatra, Bali yatra, tribal culture, historic Kalinga war and literary figures of the state.

The administration which has been struggling in the absence of curators, will soon get relief in the shape of ‘audio curators’. To begin with, Culture Department under whose purview the State Museum functions, plans to install 10 audio curators at different galleries of the museum.

These audio curators are electronic audio machines with headphones through which people can hear details about the artifacts exhibited in different galleries. The audio recordings on the existing artefacts will be in English, French, Japanese, German languages for international visitors and Hindi, Odia and Bengali for local visitors.

Director of Allahabad Museum Rajesh Purohit said: “The audio-visual guides and well-educated and professional staff can help attract more visitors to the museum.”

Odisha State Museum Bhubaneswar

Suggesting use of the museum campus as a place of activity to organise cultural event in future, Purohit said display of exhibits of the month, approaching school students to visit the museum, availability of low-priced souvenirs and photographs could also boost footfall to the museum.

The well-known museum expert, however, said that the museum’s renovation would be meaningless without university-level research activities there. “We must encourage people to spend time on the compound and discover new things by studying the collections,” he said.

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