National Gallery of Modern Art of Kolkata Chapter to be opened soon at the Old Currency Building: Raghvendra Singh
A world class exhibition on four eminent personalities of Bengal, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, Netaji Subha Chandra Bose, Rishi Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay and Dr. Syama Prasad Mukherjee would be organized very soon at National Library in Kolkata at permanent basis, said Shri Raghvendra Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Culture here today. Reviewing restoration, renovation and modernization works being carried out by the Central Public Work Department (CPWD) at the Belvedere House of the National Library, the Secretary expressed satisfaction and informed that this house will be illuminated and Light and Sound programmes will be organised to entertain the visitors. Literary festivals would also be held to restore old glories of the building and to make new generations aware of their rich heritage, he added. Permanent art galleries pertaining paintings and pictures of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, different sculptures and antiquities would be displayed there, he added. He informed that all these renovation and revamping works would be completed before Durga Puja at a cost of around Rs. 8 crore.
Shri Raghvendra Singh stated that Kolkata is going to have an artists’ hub very soon. A National Gallery of Modern Art of Kolkata Chapter would be opened at the Old Currency Building in the city, he said. After reviewing the ongoing revamping works in the building, he informed that all open spaces of the building would be utilized. Open spaces would be sealed with thick glasses to make it sound-proof. Permanent and rotating air-conditioned art galleries with paintings of eminent painter RamkinkerBaij and other painters would be organized in the building for the visitors. Concert to be held in the ground floor of the building to entertain the visitors, Shri Singh added. Restoration and renovation works at the Old Currency Building would be completed before Durga Puja at a cost of Rs. 3 crore, he informed.
Currency Building is a beautiful three storied structure built in the early nineteenth century (1833 CE), designed in Italian style with Venetian windows reflecting the colonial architectural style. Initially this building housed the Agra Bank Ltd., later on it was used by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for housing the issue and exchange of government paper currency. The entire structures made of bricks and lime masonry, the floor areas of which measured approximately35,920 sq.ft. The central hall covered with a large dome is now collapsed before production of the monument by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) vide Gazette Notification S.O.No. 1302, (E), dated 10th December, 2002.
Earlier in the day, Shri Raghvendra Singh visited Metcalfe Hall. He reviewed restoration and revamping works there too. The double storied building of Metcalfe Hall at the junction of the Hare Street and Strand Road was constructed in the year 1844 and dedicated to the memory of Charles Metcalfe who officiated as Governor General of India from 1835 to 1838.
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