New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) The BMC-owned Bhau Daji Lad (BDL) Museum, Mumbai’s oldest museum dating back to 1857, has been subject to a “difference of opinion” between the trust that manages it as per an agreement and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation that wants to take back operations.
While the BMC says that the trust’s 15-year agreement concludes in September 2019, its managing trustee and honorary director Tasneem Mehta has maintained that it ends in 2023 — 15 years after the renovated museum opened in 2008.
Nonetheless, Mehta articulates a “cooperative, collaborative” stance on the issue.
“It has not been taken over by the BMC as of yet. There has been a difference of opinion on when the project started. The point is that we want to work in a very cooperative, collaborative way with the government. If they are not satisfied with what we’re doing then they can do what is best for the citizens,” Mehta told IANS here.
“There’s no question of fighting, or contesting. The purpose with which we came together was with a spirit of collaboration and partnership. If the collaboration is not working for any reason, it’s entirely up to the government. We, on the other hand, are saying we will do anything to facilitate training new people. All I want is no false charges, it should be done gracefully.”
A tripartite agreement was signed between the Corporation, the Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation and the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) in February 2003, to restore and revitalise the city museum, which was in a derelict condition.
The museum has been widely praised for its restoration effort.
“We’ve augmented the collection of the museum, now we have 460 new objects and new contemporary art pieces donated by artists. I’ve managed to raise one crore a year for education over the last 10 years,” Mehta said on the sidelines of Delhi’s All India Museum Summit 2019.
The BMC, meanwhile, has said that the restoration work was supposed to be over in 2004, and it has not allowed for any extensions.