VIJAYAWADA : The Victoria Museum in the city has long been a place where history and archaeology lovers have been able to quench their yearning for knowledge about ancient culture right from palaeolithic (old stone) age, neolithic (new stone) age, stone age inscriptions to Buddhist and Hindu relics.
In what’s clearly some good news for the history enthusiasts, the 127-year-old historical monument in the city is going to be renovated and is hence being closed for about three months. The repair works include fixing the badly damaged roof due to which rain water has been seeping into the museum.
“We are taking up renovation works to repair the damaged part, without disturbing the actual structure. The museum will be closed from July 21, and the reopening date will be announced as soon as the renovation work is completed,” said one of the museum staff.
Built in the year 1887, marking the golden jubilee celebrations of Queen Victoria’s coronation, the building was initially used by the British for administrative purposes. However, the monument, in the year 1962, had been turned into an archaeological museum by the department of Archaeology and Museums. The structure of the building is a classic example of Indo-European style, and the foundation stone for the building was laid by the then collector, Robert Sewell in June, 1887.
“I was born and brought up in Vijayawada, but I never knew that the museum has references aging back to 130 years. The best part of the place is the magnificent and regal looking building itself,” said Anand Krishna, who visited the museum for the first time in his 22 years.
The museum hosts a wide range of historical portraits which served to capture the features of humanists, leaders and queens of aristocracy and bourgeoisie, including a life size painting of Queen Victoria, Mother Mary adoring Christ, Napoleon Bonaparte etc.
Apart from the paintings, arms, swords, daggers and other weapons from the Qutb Shahi and Nizam period form a part of the diligently conserved archaeology collection.
“Every object in the museum has a story to tell. It is great to experience this diverse collection of pre-historic objects, especially the objects from the Indus Valley Civilization. The beautifully sculpted idol of Lord Shiva from the 4th century and the bronze idol of Lord Buddha are the main attractions, and have made my day,” said Chaitanya, a software engineer.
Some of the visitors expressed happiness over the decision of the department to preserve the building as it is one of the oldest structures in the city and a monument that the city takes immense pride in.