Patna, Apr 4 (PTI) A series of events, including seminars, exhibitions, book releases and cultural programmes, have been planned by the state government this year to mark the centenary of iconic Patna Museum.
The museum turned 100 this month and celebrations were kicked off yesterday with the inauguration of a three-day event, which included talks by eminent historians.
“More commemorative events would be held in phases throughout this year. Special publications and seminars would be held.
“We are also working on an exhibition, which would include display of old photographs, and other material chronicling the 100 eventful years of this city landmark,” a senior official told PTI.
The museum had a very humble beginning in 1917 from the northern wing of the historic Patna High Court building, which was inaugurated in February 1916 by the then viceroy Lord Hardinge.
It was established in April 1917 by the then Lt Governor of Bihar & Orissa Sir Edward Gait and distinguished ethnologist and anthropologist Sarat Chandra Roy was made its first curator.
The museum shifted to its own grand two-storey building, designed by Rai Bahadur Bishnu Swarup, after it was completed in 1928.
Built in Indo-Saracenic style, the Patna Museum situated on Buddha Marg (then Patna-Gaya Road) in the heart of the capital city, is endowed with Rajputana ‘jharokhas’, making it famous haunt for art and architecture lovers.
In terms of collection, it is one of the richest museums, with treasures of ancient and medieval artefacts, paintings, coins, manuscripts, sketches and photographs.
But, its most prized collection is the Didarganj Yakshi (or Didarganj Chauri Bearer) made of Chunar sandstone, which was discovered in October 1917.
The museum has a special gallery dedicated to the uncle-nephew duo of Thomas Daniell and William Daniell, famous for painting aquatint sceneries on India.
It also has a special Pataliputra gallery and one showcasing exhibits related to first president Rajendra Prasad.
“The museum should have done it on a grand scale and celebrations should have begun last year only and culminated in April. They should have borrowed the leaf from the Patna High Court,” said a senior historian, who did not wish to be named.
Patna High Court had held year-long celebrations between April 2015 and March 2016 to mark its centenary, the opening and closing ceremonies of which were attended by President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi respectively.
Incidentally, the statues of Lord Hardinge and King George V, removed from their original sites in the city post- Independence, are placed on the museum campus.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.