The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation four refurbished heritage buildings in Kolkata on Saturday. These are Old Currency Building, the Belvedere House, the Metcalfe House and the Victoria Memorial Hall.
The PM said that in order to generate resources, take care of the management of these iconic cultural heritage centres, the union government is considering to launch Indian Institute of Heritage Conservation which would be given the status of a deemed university.
Old Currency Building, founded in 1833, is a three-storied building, designed in Italian style, which initially housed a bank. It was named as the Currency Building when the government occupied a large portion of it for its Currency Department in 1868, according to the Archaeological Survey of India, Kolkata.
Belvedere House was the former palace for the Viceroy of India and later the Governor of Bengal. In this building the National Library of India is housed, since 1948. The PM has said that Government is taking efforts towards developing Belvedere House into a Museum of the World.
Metcalfe House’s architecture is reflective of the British imperial architecture at the middle of the nineteenth century, and visually similar to ancient Greek temples. The building is raised on a solid basement and thirty huge Corinthian pillars support a massive entablature. The columns and colonnade surround the whole building. Internally there are two stories comprising five halls.
The Victoria Memorial is a large marble building and is major tourist attraction of Kolkata. The design is in the Indo-Saracenic revivalist style which uses a mixture of British and Mughal elements with Venetian, Egyptian, Deccani and Islamic architectural influences. In design it echoes the Taj Mahal with its dome, four subsidiaries, octagonal-domed chattris, high portals, terrace, and domed corner towers.
Prime Minister said, “3 of the 5 galleries of Victoria Memorial were closed for a long time and that it is not a good situation. We are now trying to restart them.” He mentioned that five 5 Iconic Museums in the country will be made in keeping with the International standards. This is being started from the Indian Museum in Kolkata, which is one of the oldest museums in the world, he added.