School of Design out of room for 75 percent of its collection

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Specialist also needed for effective display

KAISER MAJEED
SRINAGAR: The Valley’s “only crafts museum” in Kashmir Haat’s School of Design was meant to house different historical art and craft collections but has space for only 25 percent of the objects to be displayed.
Sources at the School of Design told Kashmir Reader that they were not able to display the rest of the intended collection due to space constraints, despite its artistic, cultural and historical importance.
“Nearly 75 percent of the artefacts and crafts have been kept under preservation due to the unavailability of space. Keeping in view the space limitation, we keep removing and readjusting the objects on display,” they said.
An employee who wished not to be named told Kashmir Reader that there was a need to hire a super-specialist museum designer so that they can present their designs/work in a highly professional manner.
“We are not satisfied with our museum but we have the best objects for display. We are managing to run it right now, but it isn’t professionally done. In this issue, government intervention is required and necessary,” he said.
Another employee said that the museum needed renovation at the earliest. People who value arts and craft come here and they appreciate the artefacts on display. But there is a lot of scope for reimagining and renovating the museum.
“During the exhibition of art and craft, there should be no distractions. There has to be a proper mechanism put in place, which we don’t have,” he said.
When contacted, Joint Director Handicrafts Department Hilal Ahmed Mir told Kashmir Reader that they have already prepared a plan for up-grading the museum and will soon submit a Detailed Project Report (DPR) to the Government of India. Once the government sends funds, the work will be started.
“The ground floor of the School of Design was completely submerged in the 2014 floods. It took us time for its up-gradation, and now more than 90 percent work has been completed. Once we finish it, we will start further work. We have centuries-old artefacts there and we are taking every possible step for their preservation and conservation,” he said.