Two new museums for India

Bihar and Kolkata plan major spaces

By Gareth Harris | Web only
Published online 5 Oct 11 (Museums)

Coming in 2014: the Kolkata Museum of Modern Art

BIHAR. India’s sub-standard state museum infrastructure is set to be enhanced by plans for a new museum in Bihar, east India, scheduled to open in 2015. The museum will be built on a 13-acre site in the state capital Patna and focus on Pataliputra, the ancient predecessor of Patna. The principal funder, the state of Bihar, has hired UK culture consultancy Lord Cultural Resources to develop the masterplan for the museum, which has an estimated budget of $80m. “Great figures of ancient India—Buddha, Mahavir and Ashoka as well as scholars and poets of the court—will be featured in the museum, which will focus on the contribution of what is now Bihar to Indian and Asian civilisation,” says Barry Lord, co-president of Lord Cultural Resources.

Meanwhile, an ambitious new museum of modern art in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) is now scheduled to open in 2014. The 552,300 sq. ft Kolkata Museum of Modern Art (KMoMA) will rise in Rajarhat, a suburb of the city, housing a collection of Indian art dating from the 18th century to the present day. Sections devoted to far eastern and western art are also planned. “KMoMA’s content will be built and programmed by joining hands with museums [from the] region, major museums across India and some of the finest museums abroad,” says Rakhi Sarkar, managing trustee of KMoMA and director of the Kolkata-based commercial gallery Cima.

The estimated $82m budget for KMoMA will be funded by a tripartite public-private partnership between the Indian government, the government of West Bengal and the corporate sector.

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