February 26, 2017 3:12:38 am
For many who visit Mumbai, one of the big draws is the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) —the city’s main museum.
While most tourists are drawn to the architecture, the museum often witnesses a substantial footfall of visitors from the state’s hinterland visit, who are seen praying to the sculptures and statues of Shiva and Vishnu, among others.
The latest attraction here is a Mummy’s exhibition. But 29-year-old Chinese national Feng Yi and his wife visited it to check it out in comparison to the Louvre Museum in Paris. Fresh from their visit to France, the couple said their visit was not disappointing. “We came here at 1:30 pm and spent nearly four hours just moving around as the exhibits are extremely intriguing,” said Feng, adding that the couple spent just an hour less here than in the Louvre. The two have been travelling for the last eight months and have spent close to Rs 9.37 lakh while continent hopping between Asia, Europe and now back in Asia.
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“We just came to Mumbai from Africa and we are very interested by all the animal artifacts on display. One can relate to most of the items and it is in easy chronology,” said Feng adding that he and his wife didn’t have any complaints regarding the museum.
The couple said that the most exciting part of their visit was a short film on how a Shiva statue was made. “We watched it three times to figure how this statue was made. It was very interesting and it caught the attention of a lot of others as well,” said Feng.
The museum was founded on 10 January, 1922, by some prominent citizens, with government support, to commemorate the visit of the then Prince of Wales. It was earlier known as the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India.
Officials claim that the museum has over 50,000 exhibits of ancient Indian history, as well as items from other countries. It is categorised, primarily, into three sections: Art, Archaeology and Natural History, and houses various Indus Valley Civilisation artifacts, and other relics from the times of the Guptas, Mauryas, Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas.
The natural history section is a key attraction for children. A comprehensive collection of miniature paintings, Nepalese and Tibetan artifacts, Chinese and Japanese porcelain, and European oil paintings also sees much traffic. Some of the most notable attractions here include the armour of Mughal emperor Akbar, an Ashokan rock edict and a sculpture of Shiva. Spread over 30,000 sq ft, the museum has five new galleries, a conservation studio, a visiting exhibition gallery and a seminar room in the East Wing of the museum and a library.
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