Time capsule: Independence Day exhibition at the National Museum

Curator disappointed to see less than hundred people.


Express August 15, 2011

KARACHI: The corridor of the National Museum of Pakistan was lined with 30-odd portraits of historical figures who led the freedom movement in 1947, including Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan, at an exhibition organised at the museum on August 14 to celebrate the country’s sixty-fourth birthday.

Rare photographs of pure brutality, gore and carnage that took place during the war were on display at the Islamic gallery along with the original All India Muslim League manuscripts from 1937 and Jinnah’s January 8 address to Muslim students in Allahabad. Jinnah addressed the Allahabad students union in 1940 and told them that the demand for a constituent assembly by the All India National Congress would ignore the Hindu-Muslim question. He added that no settlement would be reached if the Congress did not cooperate.

The exhibition was a great hit with Muhammad Talha and his 12 friends from the Dar-ul-Islam Madrassa who were ecstatic to learn about their country’s history. They added that although they learnt more about the country they were bowled over by the Quran gallery as it made them feel closer to God.

“The museum falls under the realm of the provincial government and should be looked after properly so that future generations can come and visit to learn more about Pakistan’s history,” said a visitor. The exhibition assistant Naveed was slightly disappointed with the turnout. He told The Express Tribune that the people in the city were probably unaware of their existence.

Sindh Muslim Arts and Science College professor Karan Singh who was there for the Gandhara Civilisation exhibition told The Express Tribune that a museum was a place to take your children and to teach them about human development.

The museum curators were not present at the exhibition but Naveed and seven staff members were there to show visitors around. The museum staff was disappointed by the low turnout, according to Naveed they had less than 100 visitors. The exhibition will be on till August 31from 8 am to 1 pm.

A little museum history

Originally established at Frere Hall in 1950, the museum artifacts were shifted to their current location in Burnes Garden on Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road in 1970. The museum boasts a total of 11 galleries which showcase ancient civilizations artifacts, religious manuscripts and 58,000 collectable coins.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th, 2011.

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