Showcased In New York Museum But Not In J&K
15 October 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: The rare art works including sculptures, paintings and calligraphy of Jammu and Kashmir which are being given wide display in the Indian Section of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, have never been showcased to its entirety in the Government museums in the State. This came to fore when some officers of State Government visited the New York Museum during 'The Arts of Kashmir Exhibition' which began there on October 2 and will continue till January next year. The New York Museum has adopted multi-disciplinary approach to showcase all the rare art works of India particularly Jammu and Kashmir from the 2nd to 20th century, one of the officers told the EXCELSIOR on the condition of anonymity after his return from New York. 'We were astonished to observe that whatever rare art works about J&K the New York Museum possesses, were well kept, defined and maintained', he said and observed that despite being rich in rare art works collection, the J&K has failed to showcase the same to its entirety. 'Material wise J&K is very rich as compared to New York museum's collection about this Indian State but we have failed to consider the importance of museums in research works and use them as a tool to make younger generation aware of the past and attract visitors', he regretted. He disclosed that sculptures of Hindu Goddess Indrani with distinctive features, Lord Vishnu, Buddhist sculptures of different centuries and 4th century terra-cotta tile depicting ascetics and birds excavated from Srinagar suburb Harwan, a site associated with Buddhism were showcased in the Metropolitan Museum of New York. He, however, regretted that the varied collection of such sculptures and other rare art works have never been displayed to their entirety in Jammu and Kashmir in any of the exhibition. Meanwhile, sources disclosed that the Shri Partap Museum at Srinagar has 80,000 collections of sculptures, decorative art, paintings, carpets and natural history besides rare coins from 4th century to 20th century but only 25 per cent of the same are being displayed in the museum. Similarly, in Dogra Art Museum there are more than 5000 rare art works and artefacts but all have never been displayed and continue to remain away from the sight of the people, the sources further said and attributed the same to lack of space in both the museums. 'What to talk of visitors even the majority of the people of the State never had even glimpse of rich wealth the State possesses', the sources regretted and stressed the need to consider museums as a first guide to the visitors to Jammu and Kashmir whose artefacts have been amazing visitors at New York museum. Sources said that Government should start construction of museum at Jammu on the pattern of Srinagar so that the artefacts could be brought out of closed rooms and showcased to the people. In the meantime, temporary arrangements should be made for display of rare art works.