Restoration and Reorganization

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Mr. Salahuddin Ahmad, Principal Secretary, Art & Culture, Govt. of Rajasthan, Mr. B.L. Gupta, Director, Archaeology & Museums, Govt. of Rajasthan and Mr. Indrajit Singh Masuda, Member Rajasthan State Museums & Monuments Management & Development Society, Rajasthan - behind the scene discussions on museum matters. They were responsible for micro-managing the project : June 2007 Mr. Indrajit Singh Masuda, Member Rajasthan State Museums Monuments Management Development Society, Rajasthan with Mr. Rakesh Chholak, Curator, Government Central Museum, Albert Hall, Jaipur at work in arranging dcor of pottery room. : April 2008 Mr. Salahuddin Ahmad, Principal Secretary, Art Culture, Govt. of Rajasthan, Mr. Indrajit Singh Masuda Mr. B.G. Sharma, Member Rajasthan State Museums Monuments Management Development Society, Rajasthan discussing display of Persian Garden Carpet. : May 2008

Renovation work was undertaken at Albert Hall between April 2007 to June 2008. A committee of officials of Government of Rajasthan and non -official experts oversaw and micromanaged the ambitious project. The first priority was to undertake extensive civil works, as over the years the structure of the building had fallen into disrepair with seepage, flooding and general wear and tear. After the structure became viable, the next priority was to upgrade the outdated facilities. This involved repairing and upgrading the show cases with introduction of lighting of international standards, cleaning and polishing the stone structures and fixtures, replacing broken marble flooring where necessary and introduction of Bus Bar lighting apparatus throughout the museum. An audio system was also installed for enhancing the museum experience with background music and for announcements.

CCTV cameras and unbreakable glass in the show cases were installed to enhance security. Furthermore paintings in the museum collection and murals in the corridors were cleaned and restored by several groups of experts. Cleaning of all objects with modern chemical techniques by experts was also undertaken before display.

All Plaster of Paris structures and dcor, and woodwork were painstakingly repaired and the interior of the museum painted carefully in traditional colors as at inception in the nineteenth century. An audio guide facility was also introduced.

The next important task was to restore the museum to its original theme as conceived by the first curator, Thomas Holbein Hendlay in the nineteenth century. Objects and artifacts collected by Hendlay were segregated, cleaned and restored where necessary. A committee made selections of the finest objects in the collection and these were then artfully displayed in a range of galleries with comprehensive well researched signage as per international standards.

Special care was taken to display the objects in a decorous and aesthetic environment with carefully chosen backdrop of cloth lining and pedestals. The arduous task of preparing comprehensive documentation and building modern archives replete with CD Roms and ledgers was completed in keeping with international standards.

The staff of keepers, attendants, cleaners and security personnel was suitably augmented. Vigourous steps were also undertaken for pest control, including hanging nets where necessary to keep pigeons out. Fencing around the museum was restructured, pavements repaired and gardens were landscaped. The ticketing booth and toilets was modernized and facilities for providing a restaurant and museum store initiated.

A book was published highlighting both the restoration work and the different galleries and objects in the museum. Finally the ambitious project was completed to satisfaction and the museum thrown open to the public on 01/07/2008 after remaining closed for restoration and repairs for 15 months. After its reorganisation  renovation and restoration the museum has been attracting about 2000 visitors daily from all over India and the world.

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Last Updated on 03 - 08 - 2016

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