No Decision Yet Regarding Demolition Of National Museum: Government
National Museum is home to a collection of ancient artefacts (File) New Delhi: No decision has been taken regarding
No decision has been taken regarding the demolition of the National Museum, the Centre told Lok Sabha on Monday.
He added that the South Block and North Block — both Grade-1 heritage buildings — will be “adequately renovated and refurbished to serve as the National Museum”.
Union Minister for Culture G Kishan Reddy shared this information in response to a query by Congress’s Manish Tewari about the “rationale behind the proposed demolition of the National Museum Complex”.
Manish Tewari also sought to know the rationale behind the shifting of the museum to the North and South Blocks, especially when these buildings are older and reportedly not seismic proof, raising concerns about the safety of the artefacts.
“No decision has been taken regarding demolition of the National Museum, at present,” Mr Reddy said in his response.
The National Museum is home to a collection of ancient artefacts and one of the most iconic modern landmarks of the capital city.
Manish Tewari in his written query also sought to know how the Ministry of Culture proposes to ensure “safe packing, storage and preservation of the two lakh objects within the tight timeline to vacate the existing National Museum by the year-end” and whether the government has taken any expert’s advice or have engaged with stakeholders and experts before considering the demolition of the National Museum. “Adequate standard protocols with respect to packaging, storage, preservation and safety will be taken care of as per the requirements by the experts,” Mr Reddy said.
He added the government is “apprised of its responsibility and will be mindful, with respect to all standard protocols regarding packaging, storage, preservation and safety as per the requirements”.
The Centre informed Parliament on Thursday that no decision had so far been taken to shut down the National Museum to expand the Central Vista.
The 35,000-square metre museum presently holds approximately 2,00,000 objects, both Indian and foreign, covering more than 5,000 years of Indian cultural heritage. The foundation of the building was laid by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on May 12, 1955.
The first phase of the National Museum building was formally inaugurated by then Vice President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan on December 18, 1960. The second phase was completed in 1989.
The redevelopment of the Central Vista — the nation’s power corridor in Delhi — envisaged a triangular Parliament building next to the existing one, a common Central Secretariat for ministries and the revamping of the 3-km-long Rajpath from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.
The new Parliament building was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 28 and Parliament moved to the swanky new complex on September 19.
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