With the aim to create awareness among the younger generation about Dhaka’s rich culture and heritage, a museum named ‘Asiatic Society Heritage Museum’ was inaugurated on Thursday at Nimatali of Old Dhaka.
Asiatic Society of Bangladesh has established the museum in five rooms of the 250-year-old Nimtali Deuri, also known as Nimtali Gate, which was part of the Nimatali Palace that was built in 1765-66 for the Nayeb-Nazim family of Dhaka by the East India Company.
After the post of Nayeb-Nazim was abolished in 1843 the palace started decaying and the East India Company put up various buildings to auction. Though the palace disappeared over time, Nimtali Deuri or the western gate of the palace survived. The Deuri is a two-storied building featuring both Mughal and European styles of construction. Undoubtedly this had made the building historically very significant.
The building was used by Dhaka University, Dhaka Museum and finally the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh from 1952 to 1982. The building remained mostly unused after the office of the Asiatic Society was relocated to new building. With financial support and patronisation of cultural affairs ministry, Asiatic Society carried out necessary conservation works to restore the building to its original architectural form in 2010-11.
Cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor inaugurated the museum. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh president professor Mahfuza Khanom chaired the inauguration ceremony.
Asiatic Society of Bangladesh general secretary professor Sabbir Ahmed and its chief coordinator professor Sharif Uddin Ahmed were also present at the programme.
The museum displays artifacts depicting culture and lifestyle of people of Old Dhaka from 1700 to 1900.
Different everyday items, including, forks, knives, dishes, plates, jewelry box, muslin, kettles, deer antlers, cash box, jar, copper and silver coins and other items that were used by the people during the Mughal and British rule in India have been put on display in the museum. The artifacts have been donated by families living in Old Dhaka. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh awarded certificates to 15 donors at the inauguration programme.
‘I thank the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh for taking the initiative. We have to preserve and protect all historical buildings, including, old mosques, temples and other heritage sites across the country because such structures remind us of our rich history’, said Asaduzzaman Noor.
‘I hope the museum will play an important role in creating awareness among the young generation about our rich culture and heritage’, said professor Mahfuza Khanom.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Miscellany