Now, a chance to touch the moon

BMC's new museum at Dadar to house a small piece of the moon donated by noted mineral collector KC Pandey

The BMC is clearly over the moon with their latest possession. The civic body's newly inaugurated Dadar museum houses a small piece of the moon, which was cut down from a lunar meteorite that fell in Doha some years ago. Noted mineral collector KC Pandey, who has a museum of minerals in Nashik, donated the piece to the BMC.

Jewel in the crown: The moon rock was cut from a lunar meteorite that
fell in Doha some years ago. PIC/Shadab Khan

BMC's Standing Committee Chairman Rahul Shewale said that Pandey donated the piece last week. "We received the prized possession last week from his Gargoti Museum located in Nashik. He has collected several minerals and put them on display for educational purposes."  Shewale added that the piece was cut from the lunar meteorite Dhofar 458 in 2000-2001 and has been certified by the University of California, Los Angeles.

When MiD DAY approached Pandey to enquire the reason behind the donation, he said that he had taken a much bigger piece of the similar rock from the USA and therefore donated the smaller piece to Mumbai. "This piece belongs to the meteorite that fell in Doha. Initially, amateurs had sliced up the meteor into smaller pieces. Every year, there is a show of such minerals in Arizona, from where I procured this piece," Pandey elaborated.

Symbolic Meaning
It appears that the piece of the moon has a significant meaning attached to it. On the wall where the stone is displayed, the Sena-led BMC has mentioned that the moon was procured to remind people that Mumbai would always be a part of Maharashtra.

"During the Samyukta Maharashtra movement, Congress member S K Patil had said on November 21, 1955, 'Till the sun and moon exist, Mumbai will not be merged with Maharashtra.' Hence, we procured the rock so that it serves as a constant reminder to people that Mumbai will always be a part of Maharashtra."

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