Home Arts & Culture FEATURE: Presidential Palace Museum

FEATURE: Presidential Palace Museum

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The preview of the new Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on July 24, 2014. (Photo: Amlan Paliwal/IANS)

 A flower petal that was found on the body of Mahatma Gandhi after his assassination, a piece of rock from the moon, gold-plated ceremonial chairs used by the British colonial rulers, Edwin Lutyens’ rough sketches of a grand sandstone structure that took the shape of what is now Rashtrapati Bhavan — such invaluable artefacts are part of a museum to be inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee at the presidential palace.
The president, who completes two years in office, will dedicate the museum to the nation at an event Friday. The museum is housed in what used to be stables and a coach house used by the British rulers.
Each of the small arched rooms has priceless artefacts, including some that were found in old, dust-covered trunks kept in the unused rooms of the sprawling presidential palace.
“The museum tells the story of Rashtrapati Bhavan and its occupants and what happened after Independence,” Omita Paul, secretary to President Mukherjee, told reporters during a special preview.
Paul said that among the displays are those discovered in an old trunk covered in dust and lying neglected for years.
There are also many drawings by Lutyens, when the master architect was giving imaginative shape to what the British viceroy’s grand residence should look like.
Lutyens’ detailed architectural drawings are there as well as many of the tables and chairs he desgined. The museum will be open to visitors free for the first three months, after which a nominal fee will be charged, said the top official.

Bookings can be done online at www.presidentofindia.nic.in.

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