4.5m allocated to design already designed museum

Islamabad—After a long struggle behind establishing a national level museum in the capital to house thousands of rare artifacts, only Rs. 4.5 million has been allocated in the budget to re-design the already designed museum.
According to the official source, the architectural design of proposed ‘National Museum of Pakistan’ was finalised through a competition soon after 8.33 acres land acquisition at Shakarparian from Capital Development Authority (CDA) in the year 2009.
Now the concerned authorities have decided to construct museum on existing land of three acres after redesigning it due to limited resources and land.
“All the previous efforts and the utilized funds for finalizing the design through competition and land acquisition would go into vain”, the source said.
Earlier in the year 2008, the PC-I of Rs 13,569.589 million was submitted to the authorities but the project was suspended for 2-3 years by the then Secretary Culture due to financial constraints. The Department of Archeology and Museums (DOAM) again submitted PC-I of Rs 55.577 mln in the September 2015 to the relevant ministry which was not approved by the authorities at that time.
The source said thousands of artifacts discovered from various historical places in the country or recovered by Customs are at risk of ruining for not having proper facility in the federal capital to protect these.
These antiquities included unique sculptures of Buddhist era, clay utensils, guns of British era, oil lamps, jewellery boxes, mother goddess sculptures, lantern, handwritten Holy Quran scripts and many others, the source said.
These artifacts were housed in godowns of different museums while some are placed at the floors and almirahs in different small rooms of the Department of Archaeology and Museums (DOAM) due to lack of space at Sir Syed Memorial Museum Hall, the source added. After independence, the national museum was established in the capital of Karachi, which was supposed to be shifted to Islamabad after becoming the federal capital.
A nucleus of the National Museum of Pakistan was established in a private house of E-7 Sector in 1994 but the project was rolled back in 1998 with shifting of the artifacts stored there to Taxila Museum.
Again in 2002, the Nucleus of National Museum was established in a small hall of Sir Syed Memorial Building in Islamabad where only 145 selected artifacts of the previous museum could be housed while the remaining were stored in Taxila Museum.—APP

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