Friday, July 18, 2008

Persian Carpet Attracts Jaipur Visitors

Persian Carpet Attracts
Jaipur Visitors
A magnificent 376-year-old Persian garden carpet is featured in the Durbar Hall of stately Albert Hall Museum, the oldest in Jaipur in India’s Rajasthan state , reported.
The carpet, a center of attraction, has been kept locked for visitors for many years. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje re-opened the museum on July 1 following its closure for renovation since April 2007.
One of India’s finest art treasures, the carpet was deteriorating due to biotic pressure. However, now the Department of Archaeology and Museums will cover the carpet, made at Kerman in Persia in 1632, with a polycarbonate compact sheet.

“The sheet cover will not only make it possible for tourists to have a close look at the carpet but also secure the carpet’s sheen at the same time,“ director of the department, B.L. Gupta said.
The carpet portrays the garden of paradise with running water streams on a quadrangular design. Mirza Raja Jai Singh I bought the carpet at a dear price from Safavid king, Shah Abbas of Persia in between 1647 to 1650. After it was brought in the museum, the carpet has been displayed only twice or thrice, said the officials. Besides, the Albert Hall museum has a collection of 16 other ancient era carpets.
Of the total 60 million rupees renovation budget, a handsome amount was spent on installing international level lighting system which would give unprecedented ambience to the artifacts, said Gupta.
“This lighting system gives a particular grace to artifacts which they earlier lacked,“ he said. The museum carries few new features: CCTV cameras, fire detector glass break sensor, iron railing surrounding the museum, and private security guards.
In the new sequence in the museum, the ground floor will display an Egyptian mummy that belongs to the Ptolemaic era, ancient toys and dolls, and paintings. On the first floor, display items include arms and weapons of different rulers, textiles, carpets, metal and wood crafts, pottery, and items related to flora and fauna.
Plaques carrying details of every artifact have been placed making it easy for the tourists to know the history of the items. Colonel Sir Swinton Jacob had designed the museum in 1876 to greet King Edward VII as Prince of Wales on his visit to India. It was opened to the public ten years later.
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