PM praises Indian museum’s art collection, gifts Mamata stamp

The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gifted his copy of the commemorative stamp on the completion of 200 years of Indian Museum to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday.

Despite Banerjee announcing her decision to go it alone in 2014 Lok Sabha elections a few days ago, the two leaders shared the dais at the inaugural function of the bicentenary celebrations of the oldest museum in Asia. After launching the commemorative stamp at the lawns of the Indian Museum, Singh presented his copy of the stamp to the c hief minister.

Singh said that the Indian Museum had one of the finest collections of art in the country. He also pointed the evolving role of the museum  and said, ‘While our museums have been successful in disseminating the rich past of our country it is also necessary to ask whether they should not attune their approaches and strategies so that they are more in keeping with the enhanced connotation of the term museum.’

Banerjee congratulated the West Bengal Governor, MK Narayanan, who is the chairman of the museum’s Board of Trustees for guiding the restoration of the museum and thanked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for attending the event. ‘Even Montek Singh Ahluwalia...whenever I went to Delhi for Planning Commission meeting, he used to say, Mamata ji, we have to do something for the Indian Museum,’ Banerjee said. Ahluwalia, the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission was also present on the occasion. 

Banerjee talked about the rich heritage of the museum and highlighted the state government’s initiative in restoring museums in the districts. The museum has been undergoing renovation and restoration work for the past two years.

Governor Narayanan said, ‘The endeavour was to give a complete makeover in the bi-centenary year. The objective was to make the Indian Museum a more exuberant place, a symbol of India’s new found confidence and above all a sanctum where India’s grand civilisation narrative is presented in the most attractive way.’

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