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day out at indian museum

Let us walk through antiques and armour, fossils and skeletons of prehistoric animals, and then meet an ancient Egyptian pharaoh- mummified! We will visit the Indian Museum at Kolkata! Founded in 1814 by the AsiaticSociety, Indian Museum is the earliest and the largest multipurpose Museum in the Asia-Pacific region. From 1814 to 1878 the museum was at the Park Street premises of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. The current building was thrown open to the public on 1 April 1878, where multi-disciplinary objects are displayed in its six sections: Art, Archaeology, Anthropology, Zoology, Geology, and Botany.

It is one of oldest museums in the world comprising thirty-five galleries where many rare and unique specimens are preserved and displayed. In 1814, the Asiatic Society handed over most of its valuable collections to it. The Society however still has a significant collection like Joshua Reynolds' Cupid asleep on Cloud, Guido Cagnacci's Cleopatra, Thomas Daniell's A Ghat at Benares.

The present Museum building on Chowringhee was designed by W. L. Grandville.
The museum was initially known as "Asiatic Society Museum", subsequently as "Imperial Museum" and finally familiarised as the "Indian Museum".
The founder curator was Nathaniel Wallich, a Danish botanist.
The Asiatic Society building on Park Street was constructed around 1805 by the French architect Jean Jacques Pichon at a cost of Rs. 30,000 only!