Napier Museum to be given a makeover

Sourced from The Hindu dated 29.09.2011.  Posting in full for annotation reasons.  Our thanks to The Hindu

A lovely photo of the Museum building with the article:

Art historians and conservationists will study the priceless artefacts housed in the 131-year-old Napier Art Museum to display them in a contemporary manner that will be instructive to viewers, according to Museum and Zoo Director K. Udaya Varman.

The Indo-Saracenic styled architectural masterpiece, with its unique ornamentation, gothic roof, minarets, and stained glass windows, houses priceless historical artefacts, mainly stone, metal and ivory sculptures dating from the 7th century.

The artefacts will be displayed on stone pedestals cocooned inside impact-resistant glass.

Modern interactive technologies, such as touch screen kiosks, illuminated narrative boards, and digitally recorded audio, will guide visitors through the 7,472 sq ft museum.

A state-of-the-art security system will be put in place to protect the museum’s treasures.

It will include night vision-enabled video surveillance cameras, infra-red perimeter fencing, motion detectors, burglar and fire alarms, and a dedicated security control room linked to the city police control room.

A new stone fence will mark the museum’s perimeter and its surroundings will be landscaped. Only those who possess entry tickets will be allowed into the museum precincts.

R. Chandran Pillai, senior epigraphist and consultant of the Kerala Museums Society, says 566 artefacts will be re-arranged in five different galleries.

The sword of Velu Thampi Dalawa, 19th century nationalist and Prime Minister of erstwhile Travancore, will be displayed in a separate gallery along with artefacts of the period.

There will be separate galleries for works of art fashioned out of stone, metal, ivory, and wood. The ivory gallery alone will have 112 displays. Mr.Pillai says LED lamps will be used to light up the artefacts in a manner that brings out all its hidden features.

The landmark structure will itself be illuminated with LED floodlights so that its architectural splendour is revealed in full glory at night. Backlighting will be provided to highlight its multi-hued windows. Artists, expert in using natural dyes, will be contracted to conserve the fading floral designs on its ceiling.

Superintendent, Art Museum, P.S. Manjula Devi, says there are over 700 artefacts, the oldest one being a 7th century idol of Vishnu.

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