Raja Ravi Varma Archival Museum inauguration on Dec 30

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Manipal, Dec 25 (UNI) Close on the heels of the museum of Folk Arts set up recently by Hasta Shilpa Trust which had reconstructed over a dozen old ruined historic buildings at its Heritage Village here had now all set to launch its new project of Raja Ravi Varma Archival Museum which would be inaugurated by Dr Rama Varma Sripathi Prasad, grandson of the legendary artist, on December 30.

Realising the historical value of all these archival materials and their potential for educating the people, the Trust had acquired all the archival materials connected with the printing process of the works of Raja Ravi Varma from the present owner of the Press at Malavli, near Mumbai with the object of setting up an Archival Museum in the name of this legendary artist who changed the face of the traditional Indian art and also became a household name in this country, said Trust Secretary Vijayanath Shenoy in a release here today.

He said that the archival materials that are now in the possession of the Trust include the machineries used for printing process, litho stones with the impressions of the works of Ravi Varma, packets of special colour ink powder made in Germany for colour reproduction of Ravi Varma's works, scores of original colour prints of Ravi Varma's paintings of varying sizes, sketches and drawings, printing accessories, work sheets, and account books and other documents used in the Ravi Varma Press.

The materials acquired would form an excellent body and soul of the Archival Museum. The Hasta Shilpa Trust is now planning to house the age-old machineries and accessories, litho stones, original prints including oleographs besides several documents and other archival materials - all acquired from the Ravi Varma Press - in a suitable building already constructed in the Heritage Village, he added.

The Trust was very keen to take up this Museum project some time last year as it was the death centenary year of Raja Ravi Varma. He said that due to paucity of funds, the Trust could not muster its courage to go ahead with its plan. Now that the Royal Netherlands Embassy in New Delhi had happily come forward to support this project, the Trust has initiated steps to set up this Museum of the unique character to pay its tributes to this most celebrated artist of our country. It was the active interest evinced in this project by Mr Mohammed Afzal, a culture-conscious native of Kannur in Kerala who was serving as Programme Officer in the Embassy helped the Trust in securing the funding support for implementation of its conceptual plan of this Museum project, he added.

Mr Shenoy whose untired efforts made Heritage Village into a complex of historic monumental buildings of various traditions and culture of several parts of our country said that the Trust hoped that all these archival materials relating to Raja Ravi Varma's paintings and their printing process would generate a new interest among scholars and research students in the study of the works of this great painter of India - the proud son of Kerala.


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