NEW DELHI: The Purana Qila complex will house another museum where the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) plans to exhibit antiquities retrieved from across the country during excavation over the years.
The new facility will be set up in the arched cells, currently under renovation, along the south-western portion of the fortification of the 16th century fort, and is scheduled to be opened by April 2020. This information was given by the minister of state for culture and tourism, Prahlad Singh Patel, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Monday.
An ASI official said that several rare relics from the prehistoric period to the post-independence era recovered from different sites were proposed to be displayed at the museum. These articles, including tools, pottery, terracotta items, beads of semi-precious stones, sculptures, architectural fragments, and other objects are stacked at the Central Antiquity Collection Section in Purana Qila. The cost of the project is `2 crore.
In September, the ASI established a ‘Gallery of Confiscated and Retrieved Antiquities’, the first of its kind in the country, in Purana Qila. It houses rare antiquities of various origins, dating from the proto-historic to the modern era, which were confiscated or retrieved by various law enforcement agencies. Several of them were recovered by ASI during excavation at different locations.
The confiscated antiquities—stone and metal sculptures, coins, paintings, ivory and copper artefacts, and architectural panels, were either seized while they were being smuggled out of the country or brought back from foreign shores.