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Wednesday, 19 May 2010






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World Museum Day was yesterday:

Face-lift for Colombo National Museum

[ Colombo National Museum]

* Nine galleries have been completed under refurbishment scheme

* Twenty-five galleries in the museum

* Monthly, about 1,000 tourists visit the museum

* Museum plays an integral part in tourism

Front view of the museum. Pictures by Saman Sri Wedage

The Colombo National Museum is to refurbish its historical galleries in 2004. Under this refurbishment scheme the upper floor galleries were planned to exhibit arts and crafts of ancient Lanka on a thematic basis in order to enhance the value of the respective galleries, while the ground floor has been organised in a historical sequence.

This long-term project is funded by HSBC which has committed an approximate sum of Rupees 36 Million to date. Under this partnership with the bank, nine galleries have been completed to date, namely: Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Kandy, Transitional Stone, Arts and Craft, Coins and Currency, Arms and Ammunition, Standards and Banners, Painting (under refurbishment) Ground floor; Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Kandy, Transitional and Stone, Upper floor; Arts and Craft, Coins and Currency, Arms and Ammunition and painting.

Crown belonging to Sri Wickrema Rajasinghe

Throne of the last king of Ceylon Sri Wickrema Rajasinghe

“By now we have completed many galleries specially the ground floor is almost completed and the upper floor we completed three galleries and in July we will open the paintings gallery.

Refurbishing is a difficult task, the main problem is the financial difficulties we always had,” said National Museums Department Director Dr Nanda Wickramasinghe.

By now the Bank has spent two-seven million rupees. It will take another two years to complete the whole museum. There are 25 galleries in the museum. Monthly, about 1,000 tourists come to the museum. Of course to learn about a country the fist place is the museum that plays an integral part in tourism.

When asked as to what new attractions there are, Dr Wickramasinghe said that there are new artifacts, some were found from Gampola which was brought two three years ago. There is a skeleton. There is a protohistoric burial site, megolithic period tombstone near Sigiriya bought two to three years ago. The main attraction is the throne of the last king of Sri Lanka Shri Wickrama Rajasinghe.

“I want to say something about this year’s International Museum Day on May 18 and the theme is social harmony.

The theme is very suitable for us because the past 30 years we had some problems due to misunderstanding. Actually the UNESCO International Council of Museums decided the theme of the day and according to the theme we celebrate. This year’s theme is Museum and Social Harmony,” said Dr Wickramasinghe.


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