MELBOURNE: Indian diaspora in Australia has opened its first museum comprising over 1200 rare pieces including pictures, paintings, photographs, coins and stamps here on the Independence day.
Partly funded by Indian High Commission in Canberra, the museum is an initiative of Federation of Indian Associations of Victoria (FIAV).
The museum has artworks as old as 1800s showcasing rich Indian History, Hindu culture and mythology along with several astonishing International arts.
The entire collection showcased in the museum is a personal collection of an Indian doctor, living in Melbourne, Dinesh Parekh who has been collecting are facts for the last 50 years.
Named as 'Museum India', the museum has been strategically located in the heart of 'Little India precinct' in the Dandenong suburb temporarily and is expected to be placed permanently to a bigger venue later.
The collection has several original Paintings, high quality Lithographs, Chromolithographs, Engravings from 1840s onwards, Sculptures, Coins from 500BC onwards and stamp collection for public.
The museum was launched by Consul General of Melbourne Manika Jain in the presence of the state Minister of planning Matthew Guy, Dandenong Mayor Jim Memeti and several other high profile leaders and Indian community members.
Speaking at the launch, Jain said that the Indian museums across the globe depicted that Indian civilisation has been as old as human civilisation.
Lauding the contribtution of Parekh for offering his personal collections to set up a museum, Jain said, "Museum India is a project by the Indian community for the benefit of larger community including Australian community."
"This project has been supported by Melbourne Consul general of India, specially through Indian High Commission and Pravasi Bharti community," she said, adding that she hoped it would soon find a permanent place in Little India Precinct, showcasing the entire collection and also expands in future.
"Museum India in Victoria Australia is the one and only museum established outside India, one of a kind spectacle, to play a vital role in strengthening Little India precinct and incredible multicultural aura of Victoria," FIAV president Vasan Srinivasan said.
Srinivasan said Museum India was not just limited to a mere repository of artifacts and antiquities, but to be a place of interest, information, education and perpetual intellectual stimulation with a very vast purpose.
A part of this collection is on display at the Museum India which will continually be added to and updated, he said.
"Museum India has been established to be a catalyst for other communities to learn and enjoy Indian history, art and culture. It is the symbol of pride of Australian Indians," he said.
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