Enjoy a hands-on experience at the museum this week

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Ancient stone inscriptions, a gem-studded goblet that Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan used to drink from, old masks and many more never seen before will be exhibited by the Indian Museum of Kolkata in the part of the celebration of International Museum Week (which started on May 16) and International Museum Day (IMD, May 18) this year.

The theme for this year’s International Museum Day is “The Power of Museums”.

India’s Union Ministry of Culture has announced that museums and related science centers will hold various programs between May 16 and 20 this year as part of the International Museum Day. Participating museums include National Museum (New Delhi), National Gallery of Modern Art (New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru), Allahabad Museum (Prayagraj), Indian Museum (Kolkata), Victoria Memorial Hall (Kolkata) and the Salar Jung Museum (Hyderabad. Cities and science centers under the National Council of Science Museums will also hold special programs at their 24 sites in various parts of the country. The ministry has also announced that visitors will have free admission to these museums during the period mentioned.

The ministry statement said special exhibitions, projection mapping shows, extended museum hours, free entry for the week, music/dance performances including flash mobs and targeted activities for children such as clay modelling, miniature painting, origami workshops were organized to provide a holistic museum experience for all age groups. Limited edition museum items as well as photo booths in all museums are also being launched as part of the commemoration.

The Victoria Memorial in Kolkata kicked off the week with performances by folk artists and the launch of selfie points around the museum building. Some of the main displays that visitors can see during this week are the fountain pen used by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and a small desk used by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay. Visitors can also take a look at a special exhibit called “The Making of the VMH.

Museum enthusiasts in New Delhi can take part in a free program hosted by the National Museum on May 20 (advance registration required) titled “An Evening of Musical History.” The museum also offers many interactive programs such as Meet the Curators, Museum Educators Meet, free guided programs, etc.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya from Mumbai also holds several programs on May 18 to mark IMD. Some of the key events include demonstrations (miniature painting, stone tool technology, etc.), hands-on activities (create your own ancient coin, etc.), special gallery tours with curators, and more.

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