New museum to house Buddha`s bone relics
New Delhi: Minister of Culture and Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja Tuesday said the bone relics of Lord Buddha found during an excavation in 1985 in Orissa would be housed in a proposed museum.
The excavated Buddhist site, Lalitgiri, was notified as centrally protected in the year 1937.
The site has since been extensively excavated by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The remains of a massive "stupa", including a relic casket consisting of four containers made of khondalite, steatite, silver and gold containing corporal remains, have been recovered during the excavations, the minister said.
At present, the relic caskets are in the safe custody of superintending archaeologist of Bhubaneswar circle of ASI, the minister said.
"A site has been inspected and preparations of detailed drawing of the proposed museum building at Lalitgiri has been initiated by the Bhubaneswar circle of ASI," the minister said.
In reply to a question, she said taking into account the need for improvement in facilities and management of the museums, which is a continuous process, the ministry is implementing a 14-point reforms agenda across various museums to attract a new segment of visitors, maintain collections, scientifically display artifacts, provide better amenities, beautify museum shops and equip museums with multi-media, audio visuals and guide facilities.
She said the government has created four posts of additional director general and 18 posts of joint director general to modernise the ASI and has initiated several new excavations across the country in last three years.