All revamped, International Dolls Museum set to open doors in Chandigarh

June 10th, 2009 - 12:35 pm ICT by IANS  

By Alkesh Sharma
Chandigarh, June 10 (IANS) Once again, the inhabitants of Chandigarh, especially children can enjoy a glimpse of the art and culture of various countries — and that too without stepping out of the city.

All spruced up and renovated, the much-awaited International Dolls Museum here in Bal Bhawan building in Sector 23 opens its doors to the public Wednesday. It was closed a few months back for renovation work.

“We are again opening this museum with many added attractions like more dolls and a toy train from Germany. There are over 250 dolls from 30 countries like Argentina, Austria, Belgium, France, the U.S., Germany, Finland, Israel, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Spain, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Korea,” Vidya Nand Singh, consultant to the International Dolls Museum told IANS.

He added: “We have divided the museum into four sections - Indian dolls, International dolls, activity corner and history of dolls. We have Indian dolls collected from all the states of the country dressed up in area specific attires showcasing their culture and lifestyle.”

Singh, who is the brain behind this revamped dolls museum, is also the nodal officer of the Le Corbusier Centre and Museum here in Chandigarh.

He said they had planned this museum in such a way that it would fascinate not only children but also people from all age groups.

“It is a store-house of knowledge as we have kept dolls from the Harappan age to the modern Barbie dolls. There also are dolls representing fairy-tale characters like Aladdin, Snow White, Ali Baba and Cinderella,” pointed out Singh.

Text is also available in the museum, explaining the history of the dolls like the place from where they have come along with details about that place.

The International Dolls Museum was established here in 1985 by the Chandigarh administration in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Chandigarh.

“We have also made a separate corner solely dedicated to souvenirs with pictures of Indian and International dolls imprinted on them. It would help our visitors take the memory of this museum with them to their homes,” said Singh.

The souvenirs include photo-frames, stationery items, mugs, t-shirts, neckties, table-mats, cushion covers, key chains and other decorative items.

Sharda Razdan, a teacher and mother of two kids, told IANS: “I would certainly take my kids to the museum, as it would be a good experience for them during their summer vacations. It would be both recreational and a knowledge enhancing exercise.”

Singh asserted that their aim is to make this museum one of the most sought after tourist destinations among the tourists.

“Apart from domestic tourists, we have hundreds of foreign tourists coming to the city ever year. We have plans to present this place on the international tourist map in a big way,” said Singh.

Rohit Ruhella, a historian and an environmentalist here, told IANS: “We appreciate the effort of the administration but there is still a long way for us to go as we are far behind many other international dolls museums of the country. For instance, the Shanker’s International Dolls Museum in New Delhi houses nearly 7,000 dolls collected from over 90 countries.”

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