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Dhaka Tribune

Dhaka City Museum fails to live up to expectations

Update : 29 Aug 2013, 05:05 PM

Dhaka City Museum or “Dhaka Nagar Jadughar” located at the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) building only has a handful of exhibits on display.

The museum, which started its journey to highlight Dhaka’s colourful history, has failed to live up to expectations and the sorry state of the museum is blamed on negligence by the authorities of the city corporation, which took charge of the museum 17 years ago.

Located in a large hall on the sixth floor of the DSCC building the museum’s exhibits include an ancient printing press, some old coins, various historical publications and newspaper cuttings, photographs of various nawabs of Dhaka, Language Movement martyrs, and a few notable persons of Dhaka.

The museum was set up in June 1987 to preserve the city’s historical and cultural heritage by Professor Muntasir Mamun of the University of Dhaka’s history department.

Prof Mamun started the museum on his own initiative, and it was originally based in a residential building in old Dhaka.

When Mohammad Hanif was Dhaka’s mayor the city corporation was given responsibility for running the museum. In July 1996, Sheikh Hasina, who was prime minister at the time, inaugurated the Dhaka City Museum.

Prof Mamun told the Dhaka Tribune: “We established the museum to display historical and artistic mementos of Dhaka. But it has not been a success because of the authority’s negligence, because no one at the city corporation has taken any steps to further develop the museum.”

He said: “Eventually, a former administrator of the DSCC, Nazrul Islam did take steps to develop the museum and offered me the post of chairman of the trustee board. Later, we sent a budget proposal to help develop the museum but after we have heard nothing since then from the city corporation.”

Prof Mamum said he was no longer involved in any of the museum’s activities.

Khandker Millatul Islam, chief social welfare and cultural officer of DSCC, and curator of the museum said: “We are trying to develop the museum to make it special and unique.”

He said sufficient funds are being allocated for its development, and added that they want the media and people to help in achieving their goal. “Otherwise it will not be possible to reach our goals,” said the curator.

When the Dhaka Tribune went to the museum, there were no visitors. A DSCC official seeking anonymity said on average up to seven to eight people visited every day.

The museum is open from 9am to 4:30pm and charges Tk2 entry fee he said.

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