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The treasure trove

The treasure trove
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The genius of jewellery-making in India over the past five millennia will shine through a gallery that is opening in the National Museum (NM) this Friday (7 November). It will showcase varied aesthetics of ornaments across the class, gender and age of the wearer.

Alamkara, which features a total of 255 jewels housed in 25 glass cases, will also throw light on techniques of moulding some of the ornaments integral to ancient, medieval and modern history.

There are also exhibits showing the flora and fauna used in ornamentation, while there is a separate section on amulets. Overall, the attempt is to bring to light to some of the ornaments that have survived the times in different parts of the country.

Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Shripad Yesso Naik will inaugurate the gallery that will give the visitors a peek into ornaments that bear the stamp of regal splendour as well as the ones used in common households.

Curated by frontline jewellery historian Usha Balakrishnan, the permanent gallery housing necklaces, bracelets, pendants, bangles, earplugs, needles and girdles, among others, will make National Museum  the country’s largest repository of jewellery. 

The 1949 founded institution did have a similar section till a decade ago when it was closed and the objects moved to a vault inaccessible to the public. NM Director-General Venu V said, ‘The comeback of the gallery was a long standing demand of   heritage lovers, as it was one of the most popular galleries.  The objects have now increased in number and also become better in quality.

‘The catalogue of spectacular objects includes hair ornaments, plaques, marriage pendants, armbands and belts. The ornaments at Alamkara are suggestive of the sense of beauty of the regal classes to common folk over the years’.
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