Want to own the personal armour of Emperor Akbar or the coins of Chandragupta era or those from Emperor Jehangir’s treasury? Trust Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya which is now planning to make replicas of popular relics that it exhibits.
The museum has other plans as well to promote itself.
Apart from selling replicas from the museum’s shop, there are plans to put its archives online, develop phone apps and add Quick Response (QR) codes to its exhibits which will help visitors carry the available information home.
The museum had organised an informal get-together recently where people including well-wishers, friends of museum society and informed citizens were invited to evaluate its activities, programmes and the experience it offers.
From the presentation made by the museum staff and subsequent discussion among the 70 participants, about 20 points were selected for implementation. “The museum has picked 20 points that would be treated as priority in museum development, and we would come back to you soon with an ‘action taken report’,” a senior museum official said.
To spread education about the museum, the Sangrahalaya plans to involve schools and increase interactions with teachers.
“A unique concept of storytelling using museum objects is also being planned. It is to be conducted regularly,” a ‘museum friend’ said. It will also begin guided tours of special sections and galleries. To involve kids, it may start a Juniors’ Museum Club, in collaboration with NGOs, local groups and cultural institutions.
From Prince of Wales to Chhatrapati Shivaji
The foundation stone of the museum was laid by the Prince of Wales on November 11, 1905, and it was named the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India. The building was completed in 1914, but it opened for the public much later on January 10, 1922.
Till then, it was used by the military as a hospital and for children’s welfare exhibitions. The museum was renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya in 1998 after Bombay became Mumbai.