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Delhi museum fights for 'space'


Neha Seth,CNN-IBN
Jun 17, 2007 at 06:38pm IST

New Delhi: The National Museum is filled with treasures including coins that date back to the times of Humayun and Akbar, a dancing girl from Mohanjadaro and a statue of a Gandhara Buddha.

But the display can only be compared to that of the tip of the iceberg. Of the two-lakh relics the museum owns, only one in five is on display. The reason- there just isn't enough space.

Says exhibition director, National Museum, R Chauhan, “We need to expand but there is no space as the Archeology Survey of India (ASI) has taken much space.”

The museum has only 22 galleries including the Harappan Gallery and some of them are closed for renovation.

Museum authorities try to constantly rotate the relics on display, but the public still doesn't get to see masterpieces including the Babarnama, the illustrated autobiography of emperor Babur or a Jain manuscript of the 15th century.

The foundation stone for the third phase of the National Museum was laid in 2003, but it has not been able to expand due to the ASI not vacating the office.

The ASI however, says they are “waiting for the urban development ministry to give them an alternative site to shift office. It's only then that they can move out."

And until the National Museum and the ASI can sort out the mess, some crucial chapters will be missing in the history lessons.

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