The Kollengode Palace here is set to recieve a facelift with the state government sanctioning Rs 5.21 crore towards its renovation and conversion into a heritage museum. The renovation works would be carried out without making any changes to the architecture of the existing palace.
The project is being carried out as part of the government plan to construct heritage museums in all districts.
Besides the one in Thrissur, in the first phase, heritage museums will come up at Sreepadam Palace at Thiruvananthapuram, Velu Tampi Dalawa Memorial Museum at Pathanamthitta and Pazhassi Kudeeram at Wayanad. The work on the construction of the archaeological and heritage museums at Bastian Bungalow in Fort Kochi has already begun. The restoration and conservation work will be undertaken by the state Archaeology Department. The Kerala Lalithakala Akademi officials have chalked out an ambitious plan for the heritage museum. A sum of `1.04 crore have already been provided to the State Archaeology Department to carry out the first phase of the renovation works.
A meeting of various stakeholders of the project was held at the guest house of Mural Arts Centre in the palace on Saturday with Therambil Ramakrishnan MLA presiding over the meeting. Once the construction of the museum is completed, the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi will install sculptures made of terracotta, marble and cement at the museum, keeping with the tradition of Thrissur, its art and culture. Vasudeva Raja, the king of Kollengode, had constructed the palace in 1904 and later handed it over to his daughter.
n 1975, the Department of Archaeology acquired the property and converted it into a museum. The architecture of the palace is a unique blend of traditional Kerala architecture with western design. The Mural Art Museum that was until recently accommodated in the Thrissur Town Hall building has also been shifted to the Kollengode Palace.
The Palace, houses a gallery of murals from all over Kerala and preserves a rare treasure of Veera kallu, temple models, manuscripts written on palm leaves, some personal belongings of Vasudeva Raja, life-size statues of eminent personalities, a megalith collection consisting of earthen pots, Nannangadi (urn burials) black and red wares, black wares russet coated wares, stone age tools, excavated materials from Indus Valley Civilisation and Harappa and Cheraman Parambu (Kodungallur). It also has stone sculptures dating from 10th century to 7th century and bronze sculptures dating from 12th century to 18th century. Cultural Minister K C Joseph will inaugurate the work on the construction of the heritage museum on May 5.