As you enter the busy Udyog Bhawan Metro Station in central Delhi from Gate No. 1, a striking red wall beside the ticket counter is bound to hold your attention for a while. It features some priceless artworks, some of which — such as a bust of Buddha and a Ganesha idol — were created centuries ago.
This is part of a new initiative by the National Museum to offer the Delhi Metro users a glimpse of its huge and priceless collection. And since the Udyog Bhawan Metro Station is just a few blocks away from the museum, the station was chosen to be promoted as a gateway to the National Museum.
The ‘Art Gateway’ at the metro station was thrown open to public Wednesday by Union Culture and Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma. Also present were Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) chief Mangu Singh, Culture Secretary N K Sinha and National Museum chairman Sanjiv Mittal.
“The National Museum has joined hands with DMRC for the initiative, which will allow metro users in large numbers to get a quick glimpse of the museum’s collection. The artwork displayed here will be changed regularly to engage viewers with many more pieces,” said Sharma. The Museum Replica Corner and hoardings installed at the metro station, which registers a footfall of lakhs of commuters everyday, will not only offer a glimpse of the museum’s collection but also inform the passers-by about activities at the museum.
The National Museum had signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with DMRC in September, as part of the museum’s outreach programme.
“The museum has a huge collection of replica artwork, created from time to time for sale and display purposes. At the moment, we have installed four replicas of classical artwork from the museum’s collection. The intention is to replace it every three months to keep the commuters engaged with the walls. The hoardings will be changed more frequently,” explained Joyothi Roy, outreach consultant at the National Museum.
Earlier, artwork had been installed at the INA and Race Course metro stations, in collaboration with the Crafts Museum.