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Press Trust of India

India's largest news agency, Press Trust of India is a non-profit sharing cooperative owned by the country's newspapers. PTI's subscribers include newspapers, television channels, the state-run All India Radio and Doordarshan, the national broadcaster, government organisations, websites and several media and non-media organisations. With a staff of 1300 including 400 journalists, PTI has over 70 bureaus across the country and corresondents in major cities in the world.

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Latest Press Release
Victoria Memorial, Kolkata

Victoria Memorial, Kolkata

Kolkata's landmark Victoria Memorial getting makeover
Kolkata, Jul 22 (PTI) Kolkata's iconic monument
Victoria Memorial Hall is being given a makeover and will soon
turn into an open-space cultural centre besides allowing
access to hidden parts of the iconic marble edifice.
The makeover will make the British era structure a
unique combination of heritage, architecture and museum, VMH
curator Jayanta Sengupta told PTI.
The authorities have decided to allow visitors access
to all areas of Victoria Memorial Hall and make cultural
events a regular affair on its campus.
Sengupta told PTI that as part of a Rs 60-crore
renovation and modernisation programme funded by the Union
Ministry of Culture, the authorities are carrying out a
preventive conservation of the heritage structure of the
British era.
"There is a massive cleaning exercise going on on the
outside surface for the last few months and we hope to
complete it by this October," he said.
He said pollution is affecting the white marble
structure and Fuller's earth was being used to clean it as it
does not cause any chemical reaction.
The exterior surface of the architectural marvel is
made of Makrana marble, the same variety as in Taj Mahal.
Parts of the architectural beauty inside the monument
are now hidden under a false ceiling and false walls which are
used as galleries.
"The windows and the large red sandstone walls were
hidden so far. But now you will be able to see it as we will
hang paintings on glass walls," the curator said.
Victoria Memorial, as VMH is commonly known, was
conceived by Lord Curzon after the death of Queen Victoria. It
was designed by famous British architect Sir William Emerson
in Indo-Saracenic Revival architectural style. Construction
began in 1906 and was thrown open to the public in 1921.
The grand edifice set among its emerald green garden
is a must see for all tourists coming to the city.
Visitors now have limited access to the first floor
but after the renovation they would be allowed to use a
passage which gives them a bird's eye view of the sprawling
campus spread over 64 acres, Sengupta said.
Administrative offices which had blocked off large
portions of the ground and first floors have now been shifted
into enclosures set up in the garden.
"We are creating space for new galleries to
accommodate our 33,000-strong collection," he said.
The curator plans to convert VMH into an open-access
cultural space where cultural events, film screenings, music
concerts can take place on a regular basis. It already
hosts the Kolkata Literary Meet each year in January.
"Our target is to complete the entire modernisation
programme by March 2017," he added. PTI