Millennium Post

Students to talk about effect of pollution on museum

Kolkata: The effect of air pollution on the artefacts of the Indian Museum and the measures that are necessary to

mitigate this pollution will be the main subject for the museum's celebration on Tuesday, the eve of World Environment Day.

The discussion titled "Beat the Air Pollution" will have presentations by students from Baroda who are presently doing their internship in the museum.

The students will make a powerpoint presentation mentored by Indian Museum director Rajesh Purohit about how air pollution is impacting various exhibits like statues, sculptures and oil paintings in the 200 years old building. Purohit himself will make a presentation showcasing the effects of carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and soot materials emitted by vehicular traffic on the museum building.

"When this museum was built 200 years ago there was no issue of pollution as there was hardly any vehicle plying in front of it. But now huge number of vehicles plies everyday and pollution is making a reasonable impact on this brick monument veneered with a thick lined plaster. We

feel awareness needs to be generated about this hard reality. So we have chosen this theme to deliberate upon," Purohit said.

June 5, which is the World Environment Day, coincides with Eid, which is a national holiday, so the museum will be holding its awareness programme on Tuesday, a day earlier.

The museum has already started constant monitoring of pollutants on a regular basis and recording the quantum of pollutants which are being analysed to know what exactly are the gaseous elements that are coming through air and affecting the artefacts.

The museum has also undertaken paper pulp treatment particularly on stone objects for removing the pollutants.

Later, in the day the Indian Museum will also hold a public discussion on how an old pollution free Kolkata can be recreated.

"We have stumbled upon some old archival records such as photographs, maps of Maidan area located in the heart of the city. The talk illustrated with these findings will delve upon how Kolkata's air quality was in those days and how can we strive to recreate the same. If we get the support of the Kolkatans then it can be achieved," Purohit added.

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