PATNA: Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Monday called upon the younger generation to study the rich cultural heritage of Bihar and take the state to greater heights.
Inaugurating the first-ever Bihar Museum Biennale in a hybrid mode — physical and digital — on the occasion of Bihar Diwas celebrations here, the CM said school students must visit the museums to know about the civilization and the history of mankind. A visit to the Bihar museum, the only museum of international standards in India, will make them aware of the glorious history of the state, he said.
Both the old Patna Museum and the Bihar Museum were priceless treasure houses of art and artefacts. He said both the museums would be soon linked to each other through a subway. A person who visits Patna Museum would also be entitled to visit Bihar Museum that day, he said.
The Biennale features a series of masterclasses with leading experts from the creative industries and a two-day international conference with eminent speakers like Neil MacGregor, Hilary Knight, Sourana Noujaim, Javier Barón Thaidigsmann among others. It showcases exhibitions from several international museums as well as from 13 Indian museums, including the host Bihar Museum. Speakers and participants from Germany, France, India, Italy, Spain, Singapore, South Africa, the UK, and the UAE are expected to attend the Biennale.
Nitish pointed out that he had first visited the Patna Museum as a student and then as a chief minister and found that things were not displayed properly. “A large number of findings of historical importance were virtually dumped in a limited space and, hence, I thought of constructing another museum of international standards. Even PM Narendra Modi found time to visit this museum on October 14, 2017 and appreciated its rich collections,” he said.
Nitish reiterated that even the Patna Museum was being developed into a modern museum with a number of new galleries. The Rahul Sankrityayan gallery would house all the valuable manuscripts brought by the great scholar from Tibet. All these rare manuscripts would be translated into modern languages so that the younger generation could take advantage of the knowledge preserved in these texts. Besides, it would house a Rajendra Prasad gallery in the memory of the first President of India and a natural history gallery containing million years old plant fossils.
Bihar Museum’s nodal officer Anjani Kumar Singh welcomed the participants and traced the history of its development. Deputy chief ministers Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi, education minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary and art, culture and youth department minister Alok Ranjan also spoke on the occasion.
Mumbai-based Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum’s director general Sabyasachi Mukherjee and France’s ambassador to India, Emmanuel Lenain, joined the function through virtual platform. Bihar Museum Biennale’s special edition coffee-table book, ‘Bihar, India and the World: Celebrating Museum Collections’, featuring landmark collections of the participating national museums was also launched on the occasion.