‘Bihar Museum will house 25k artefacts’

A year on, the state-of-the-art Bihar Museum has hosted about one lakh and odd visitors with children and youths comprising the majority. One of its wings inaugurated by chief minister (CM) Nitish Kumar on August 7 last year included the children and orientation galleries.

“It has been a significant one year. We started slow but as the word spread, the footfalls started increasing. Now, we have an average 300 visitors daily during weekdays and more on the weekends,” museum’s assistant curator Ravi Shankar Gupta said.

A number of additions have been made to the museum in a year and the standing artefacts improved. “Almost all the audiovisual screens in the children’s gallery are interactive and many static models have been replaced with working ones. This is one of the main attractions for kids and youngsters as they can touch and experience everything,” he told TOI.

The Rs 500 crore project, spread over an area of 13.5 acres, will soon house at least 25,000 artefacts, which will be transferred from the Patna Museum. The 2,300-year-old Didarganj Yakshi sculpture, which has been with the Patna Museum for almost 100 years, is proposed to be moved to the new museum on October 18. “Antiques like prehistoric tools and coins since the beginning of time till 1764 will be shifted to the Bihar Museum in the coming months,” Gupta said.
Fabrication work of the other four galleries – history gallery, contemporary art and regional gallery, Bihari diaspora and visual storage gallery, is in progress, but the day of their inauguration is yet to be finalized. The original deadline for the completion of the project was March 22, 2015 (Bihar Diwas). However, it was delayed due to various factors by over a year. Regular review meetings on the development of the museum are done at the chief secretary level.

The museum had grossed about Rs 15 lakh with the ticket sales in one year. “It has become a popular spot for school tours and at times we have to manage two-three schools a day. Even students from other districts visit us during their Patna excursion,” Gupta said, adding school or college students pay Rs 5 for the entry ticket. Once the museum is complete, there will be two separate tickets – one for the complete tour and another just for the children’s gallery.

Security has also been stepped up at the museum with baggage scanners, door frame metal detectors and 45 security personnel in place. Presently, the discovery room is under renovation while display cases from Scotland are being installed in the orientation gallery which will be a pre-show of the museum.
Source: TOI
A girl from the capital of Bihar, trying to understand the past underdevelopment of Bihar and exploring the ways to improve the status of the State