National Museum to open Buddha galleries soon, arms gallery in 2 months

National Museum building on Janpath is among buildings proposed to be demolished as part of the Central Vista redevelopment project and the museum itself moved to North and South Block

The National Museum’s extensive collections are set to be displayed in new locations in the city, with galleries on Buddhist art expected to be opened within the next few weeks and work on museums of arms and armour, Freedom struggle and Jammu and Kashmir underway at the Red Fort.

The Buddhist galleries, located in the Archaeological Survey of India’s former offices next to the National Museum, were set to be opened within a week or two, a National Museum source said on Monday.

The National Museum building on Janpath is among the buildings proposed to be demolished as part of the Central Vista redevelopment project and the museum itself moved to the North and South Block. However, the plans for these projects and timelines have not been announced.

At the same time, parts of the National Museum’s collections are being moved to new galleries, including in renovated barracks at the Red Fort. The National Museum’s gallery on arms and armour of India would be shifted to the Red Fort within the next two months, the source said. In addition, the gallery on the Freedom struggle from 1857 onwards was being developed by the National Museum at the Red Fort and would take about four to five months to complete, the source noted. The Jammu and Kashmir museum was also being developed by the National Museum, the source added.

In a reply to the Lok Sabha in August, Culture Minister G. Kishan Reddy said the museum on Buddha was being “developed in a renovated century-old majestic building and spread over an area of about 15,000 square feet, surrounded by a lush green landscape”. He added it was a first-of-its-kind museum on Buddha and would include over 200 objects dating back to the 1st Century CE.

Mr. Reddy had further stated that the museum on the Freedom struggle would have an interactive approach and tell the stories of those who fought for Independence.

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