The Government Museum here housed in the historic and centuries old Rani Mangammal Hall is undergoing major renovation without disturbing the heritage structure.
The renovation work, which started in January, was suspended owing to COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown and resumed following relaxations announced by the State government. With funds sanctioned by the Centre and the State government, the renovation works were proceeding in full swing in the exterior and interior portions of the over 350-year-old Rani Mangammal Kolu Mandapam which was constructed during the Nayak period. “While the renovation of the heritage building housing the museum has been taken up in phase-I, the phase-II works entails installing showcases and other electrical works,” said C. Sivakumar, Curator (in charge), Government Museum, Tiruchi.
The damages that the building had suffered over the years and cracks had been identified and traditional materials such as lime mortar were being used to rectify them. This is being done to ensure that the heritage look of the historic building was not disturbed, Mr. Sivakumar said.
An architect from Chennai has been engaged for the renovation work which is being executed by a Mumbai-based contractor.
Utmost care was being taken to increase the life of the historic building which was constructed by Chokkanatha Nayak in 1666.
The museum has a good collection of archaeological and anthropological objects, numismatic collections, biological specimens, old statues made of wood and stone, old Thanjavur paintings and wood carvings – there are more than 1,000 prized exhibits. Since the renovation works were going on, they had been kept safely in a room, Mr. Sivakumar said.
The phase-I renovation work is expected to be completed by next March, following which phase-II works would begin.