Indian Museum

Kolkata, West Bengal

#Historical and Heritage


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The Indian Museum is the largest and oldest museum in India and has rare collections of antiques, armour and ornaments, fossils, skeletons, mummies, and Mughal paintings.

It has six sections comprising thirty five galleries of cultural and scientific artifacts namely Art, Archaeology, Anthropology, Geology, Zoology and Economic Botany. Many rare and unique specimens, both Indian and trans-Indian, relating to humanities and natural sciences, are preserved and displayed in the galleries of these sections. the administrative control of the Cultural sections, viz. Art, Archaeology and Anthropology rests with the Board of Trustees under its Directorate, and that of the three other science sections is with the geological survey of India, the zoological survey of India and the Botanical survey of India.

The museum Directorate has eight co-ordinating service units: Education, Preservation, publication, presentation, photography, medical, modelling and library. This multipurpose Institution with multidisciplinary activities is being included as an Institute of national importance in the seventh schedule of the Constitution of India. It is one of oldest museums in the world. This is an autonomous organization under Ministry of Culture, Government of India. The present Director of the Indian Museum is B. Venugopal. The museum was closed to visitors due to massive restoration and upgrades from 1 September 2013 to 3 February 2014.

 

Collections

Egyptian human mummy, about 4,000 yrs old, at Indian Museum.

It currently (2009) occupies a resplendent mansion, and exhibits among others: an Egyptian mummy, The organs are taken out of the mummy's body through nostrils, except heart. The heart is placed in special chambers. The body was then massaged with salt and oil. The covering was done by thin cotton cloth the Buddhist stupa from Bharhut, the Buddha's ashes, the Ashoka pillar, whose four-lion symbol became the official emblem of the Republic of India, fossil skeletons of prehistoric animals, an art collection, rare antiques, and a collection of meteorites. The Indian Museum is also regarded as "the beginning of a significant epoch initiating the socio-cultural and scientific achievements of the country. It is otherwise considered as the beginning of the modernity and the end of mediaeval era" by UZER Places.

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