Children to get their own museum in Mumbai

Updated: Mar 10, 2019, 09:22 IST | Fiona Fernandez | Mumbai

Six years since the idea was first mooted, Chhatrapati Shivaji Vastu Sangrahalaya's children's museum, created for, of and by little minds, will open later this month

A view of the museum. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar
A view of the museum. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar

Like the selfless giant in Oscar Wilde's story, the city has become heartless towards children's needs. Even the giant realised his mistake. Children are our future, so before spring disappears, we must fill this vacuum," reminded Sabyasachi Mukherjee, director general, CSMVS, as he drew references from the classic while sharing the vision behind CSMVS's Children's Museum.

The audience in the open-air amphitheatre was in an interesting mix of corporate hues and rich Indian prints. They were there to applaud the opening of the children's creative space and museum that was established with the support of Bank of America.

The young curators hold their certificates; (back row, standing from left) Bilwa Kulkarni, CSMVS education officer, Brian Moynihan, Eknath Kshirsagar, chairman, CSMVS board of trustees, Rahul Mehrotra, Kaku Nakhate, Sabyasachi Mukherjee and architect Robert Stephens
The young curators hold their certificates; (back row, standing from left) Bilwa Kulkarni, CSMVS education officer, Brian Moynihan, Eknath Kshirsagar, chairman, CSMVS board of trustees, Rahul Mehrotra, Kaku Nakhate, Sabyasachi Mukherjee and architect Robert Stephens

It will open its doors with a calendar later this month. Mingling in the crowd were architect Rahul Mehrotra (responsible for the museum's breakaway design), veteran artist Brinda Miller and top bankers, Deepak Parekh and Arundhati Bhattacharya. And waiting near the stage were some special guests. These young curators, from class III to IX, were handpicked from an outreach programme that covered thousands of Mumbai school students. This team conceptualised the first exhibition. Their big moment was to come a little later.

Brian Moynihan, CEO, Bank of America
Brian Moynihan, CEO, Bank of America

Mukherjee's message set the tone as he introduced a key player in this initiative, Kaku Nakhate, president and India country head, Bank of America. The two were in talks since 2014. "Aligned to our global strategy, we have partnered with CSMVS to set up Mumbai's first museum for children. We believe this museum, curated and designed by the children of Mumbai, will inspire and enrich children for generations," she said. Next up, Brian Moynihan, chairman of the board and CEO, Bank of America, drove home the interest in democratising the arts. "The arts are what makes the community what it is. And, we couldn't be prouder to inaugurate the city's first museum for children."

But it was eight-year-old Sarah Patel's endearing speech about her experience of working with the museum team and environmental consciousness that drew the biggest applause. Soon after, she and the other bright sparks took centrestage, as each was handed a certificate for giving wings to this project. It was their afternoon in the sun.

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