The Allahabad Museum
The Allahabad Museum is centrally located in the Civil Lines area of the city in a lush green garden at Chandrashekhar Azad Park, popularly known as Company Bagh. It is about 3 km away from the Allahabad railway junction and almost equidistant from three different Railway Stations such as Prayag, Rambagh and Allahabad junction and about 12 km away from Bamrauli Airport.
In 1863, the Board of Revenue requested the Government of North-Western Provinces for the establishment of a public library and a museum. With donations from the provincial government, the famous Orientalist Sir William Muir and the Maharaja of Vijaynagaram, a superintendent of the library and museum was appointed and an ornate building was inaugurated in 1878 to house the collection. For unforeseen reasons or due to paucity of funds the museum was closed down in 1881. With the initiative of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the President of the Allahabad Municipal Board and Pt. Brijmohan Vyas in the 1923-24 efforts were made to establish a new museum in the city. It was under the operational direction of Pandit Brij Mohan Vyas, the executive officer of the board, a museum was opened in the Municipal Building in 1931. Under the tutelage of Pandit Vyas, the museum acquired important collections, including ancient sculptures from Bharhut and Bhumra as well as the art collections of Abanindranath Tagore, Jamini Roy, Gaganendranath Tagore, Asit Kumar Haldar of the Bengal School Paintings also the collection of paintings of the European artists like Nicholas Roerich and Anagarik Govinda, a German monk whose collection enabled the museum to create galleries of modern art in the museum. In 1942, S.C. Kala the first curator gave the much-needed impetus to enriching the collections of the museum, especially adding the Nehru Personalia Collection and as space became a constraint, it was decided that the museum should be shifted from the Municipal Board building to new premises. The foundation stone of the present museum building was laid on 14th December 1947 by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and the museum was opened to the public in 1954 in the Chandra Sekhar Azad Park or the company bagh area. But the real turning point of the fate of the museum came in the year 1986 after realizing its significance of the diversity of its rich collections of archaeological artifacts, art treasures the museum was taken over by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India after constituting an autonomous body called Allahabad Museum Society, and declared it a museum of national importance under the Ministry of Culture Government of India. Presently the museum is under the financial control of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and the ex-officio Chairman of the museum is the Governor of Uttar Pradesh.
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