Museum in Tagore’s Bangladesh estate short of funds, care

September 13th, 2008 - 3:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Sep 13 (IANS) The headquarters of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s erstwhile family estate in Bangladesh’s Shahzadpur, now a museum, is lying neglected due to shortage of funds and care, a media report said. The Rabindra Kachharibari in Shahzadpur and the memorabilia it houses are in a shabby state. Preservation, funds and staff are desperately needed.

Nahid Sultana, custodian of the museum, told The Daily Star that many visitors come to the Kachharibari every day but the accommodation for them is not satisfactory. There is no guest house or toilet in the premises.

Though the memorabilia of the Tagore family, including dishes, tubs, `hookahs’, seals, shoes, `khadam’ (wooden sandals), water filter, bedstead, piano, sofa, spectacles, palanquin, harmonium, vessels and rare photographs have been preserved at the Rabindra Memorial Museum, these are facing a risk of being gradually damaged due to lack of proper maintenance.

Musical instruments like harmonium and piano are already somewhat damaged. The sofa and palanquin have been infested with bugs. The metal dishes look rusty and the rare photos are becoming blurry. Many books and important papers have become dusty.

The local office of the department of archaeology complains of shortage of funds and manpower.

If necessary funds and staff are provided, the memorabilia can be properly preserved. Besides, a library for research, a guest house and a parking lot for the visitors are also needed, the media report said, quoting unnamed sources from within the department.

The woes of the Kachharibari do not end here. Huge cracks have developed in parts of the building and it urgently needs renovation.

Shahzadpur was one of the larger estates of the Tagore family. This was where Tagore lived for a length of time and wrote some of his literary works.

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