Vijayawada: Bapu museum awaits orders for reopening
Deccan Chronicle| K Kalyan Krishna Kumar
Clearance for high-level security measures awaited.
Bapu Museum in Vijayawada.
VIJAYAWADA: The 55-year- old historic Bapu Museum (formerly Victoria Memorial Jubilee Museum), located in the heart of Vijayawada city, was closed in the name renovation for more than four years, but there seems to be no action happening in reinstating it. The government closed the doors of this establishment in 2014 and constructed a new building behind the existing museum two years ago. However, the museum has still not reopened for the public, thereby increasing the concerns of history lovers and regular visitors to this place.
Kadiala Venkateswara Rao, president of an NGO (‘Puratana’) said, "Andhra Pradesh government is spending a lot of money celebrating cultural festivals that are short-term in nature but giving step motherly treatment to historic monuments like this." The museum has a large collection of sculptures, paintings and artefacts of Buddhist and Hindu traditions, some of them belonging to 2nd and 3rd Centuries. The structure of building too is unique with an Indo-European style of architecture which is a feast to the eyes of the admiring public.
The location of this museum also carries a lot of historic memories with it. The historic building was originally established in 1887 as a memorial building by Nuziveedu Zamindar and the then minister of education (including Archeology Department) and vice-chancellor of Andhra Pradesh state, Meka Rangaiah Appa Rao and named it after Queen Victoria as ‘Victoria Memories’.
It was subsequently used by citizens as town hall too. People say that Mahatma Gandhi visited this place during the freedom movement and that the creator of our national flag Pingali Venkaiah handed over the flag to Gandhiji at this location. The place was also the head office for Andhra University for a brief period, when it was first set up in Vijayawada.
On enquiring the Commissioner of Archaeology Department, Government of AP, G. Vani Mohan, on the de-lay in reopening, said, "The new building was developed in the intern-ational standards and hence requires high lev-el security before opening it for the public." "We requested the ministry of tourism to make provision for required security systems such as CCTV cameras, lighting, fire protection units, trained guards. The work will be expedited once the tourism board approves the proposal," she added.