Mumbai will have first museum of Christian art
Preparations are underway for the first Christian art museum to be set up in Mumbai.
The project is being undertaken by the Archdiocesan Heritage Committee, which is charged with heritage conservation by the Archdiocese of Bombay.
Fr. Warner D’Souza of the AHC said, “We realized that when we would restore heritage church objects and return them to their respective churches, many of them would disappear,” The Hindustan Times said.
As a result, the project of setting up a museum was undertaken so that ancient artifacts collected from old churches could be restored and used to tell the story of the birth and growth of Christianity in Mumbai, The Hindustan Times said.
The AHC was established five years ago and has endeavored to document the story of Mumbai’s churches from its inception. Aside from displaying church relics, including old wooden statues that have been reconditioned and centuries-old church candle stands, they will also exhibit long forgotten church documents and photographs, The Hindustan Times said.
The museum will be situated on the grounds of Goregaon’s St. Pius seminary, and it is hoped that it will be open to the public by November, The Hindustan Times said.
To generate interest in the project, the AHC is planning to regularly hold seminars for people of all faiths to join, where they will explain the value of heritage conservation. They will focus on the various heritage sites in the city, The Hindustan Times said.
Fr Larry Pereira, who is conducting the seminars said, “At the moment we are conscious of the fact that we are losing our heritage in the name of modernity.” He urged for the preservation of church ruins, The Hindustan Times said.
The AHC is also planning to organize a field trip in October to Chaul Fort, situated some 20 km away from Alibaug. Several church ruins there date back to the Portuguese era, The Hindustan Times said.
While the museum of Christian art will be the first of its kind in Mumbai, it will be the second Christian art museum in India, with the first situated in Old Goa, The Hindustan Times said.