Relegated till now to the dark storerooms of the Victoria Memorial Hall, thousands of vintage paintings and rare artefacts would soon be put on display.
As part of a Rs 60-crore renovation and modernisation programme, Victoria Memorial authorities are revamping existing galleries and adding two new ones to create more space for exhibition of its priceless treasure trove.
For want of display space, much of the museum’s prized possessions like the world’s third largest oil painting by Russian artist Veretchagin have been away from the public eye for a long time, the memorial’s Curator Dr Jayanta Sengupta told PTI.
Measuring 274 inches by 196, the painting shows the state entry of King Edward VII, then prince of Wales, into Jaipur in 1876.
Its other collection include paintings of the Sepoy mutiny of 1857, oil paintings by Thomas and William Daniel, Abanindranath Tagore and Gaganendranath Tagore of the Bengal school of art, rare copies of illustrated texts by Shakespeare, Tipu Sultan’s dagger, Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s sword, manuscript of ‘Akbarnama’, Queen Victoria’s piano, etc.
Once ready in the next 1-2 years, the museum authorities will be able to put on display around 10,000-12,000 objects at any time from its 33,000-strong collection.
While the Memorial authorities own more than 28,000 objects, another 5000 paintings from the Bengal School of Art, which was spearheaded by Abanindranath Tagore, are on loan from Rabindra Bharati Society.
Only around 10 per cent of them are put on display now. .