KARACHI: As part of the celebrations of World Museum Day, the Sindh culture ministry will host a lecture by American archaeologist Mark Kenoyer along with a display of rare artefacts at the National Museum of Pakistan on May 18.
Talking to The Express Tribune, National Museum of Pakistan Director Muhammad Shah Bukhari said the event will be held on Thursday.
Elaborating on the relics that will be displayed at the museum, the director said they include the statue of the King Priest of the Indus Valley Civilisation, some 12 gold jewellery items belonging to the same era, two bulls from ancient Mesopotamia, a goblet of water that dates back to 1800 BC, a pair of bracelets from Gandhara Civilisation and two figurines of gold. A manuscript of Surah Maryam written in Kufic text and the Quran in Bahr script will also be exhibited at the event.
“As most of our artefacts are kept away in stores hidden from the eyes of the public, World Museum Day is the best time to showcase these for the residents of the city,” said Bukhari. “Also, we want the Pakistani youth to know how rich our history is.”
State of museums in Sindh
Bukhari lamented that the people of Karachi do not visit the museum as frequently as they should. “Look at Lahore where they have a frequently visited museum,” he said. “So does Islamabad and Peshawar. No matter how hard we try, the National Museum of Pakistan in Karachi is not given its due share of visits by the residents.”
Antiquities Director-General Manzoor Kanasiro shared some statistics pertaining to the museums in Sindh. Currently, there are eight archaeological museums and six cultural museums in the province, he said. The museums were formerly under the federal government but the provincial government is now responsible for running their affairs.
Even if the local populace does not show interest in visiting them, the government is planning to build more museums in the province. “We are planning to establish as many as nine museums in the province,” said Kanasiro. “Two of them will be in Khairpur and one each in Makli, Hyderabad, Shikarpur, Kot Diji, Mithi, Nagarparkar and Larkana.”