National Museum of Pakistan
Front View, National Museum, Karachi.
|Location||Dr. Ziauddin Ahmed Road, Karachi, Pakistan.|
|Type||Art museum, Islamic Art / Quran Museum, Historic site|
The National Museum of Pakistan was established in Frere Hall on 17 April 1950, replacing the defunct Victoria Museum. Frere Hall itself was built in 1865 as a tribute to Sir Bartle Frere, a Commissioner of Sind during the 19th century. Once the Museum was inaugurated then the Government of Pakistan deemed it wise to constitute an Advisory Council in 1950 with a primary duty to counsel the Museum on the issues of enriching its collection through new acquisitions and purchase of antiquities and works of Arts. The Museum was shifted to the present premises (located in Burns Garden, Dr. Zia-ud-din Ahmed Road) in 1970.
The basic objective of establishing National Museum was to collect, preserve, study, and exhibit the records of the cultural history of Pakistan and to promote a learned insight into the personality of its people.
In 1970 there were only four galleries in the Museum. However, at present there are a total of 11 Galleries in the Museum including an exquisite “Quran Gallery”. As a matter of fact National Museum has more than 300 copies of the Quran (all are exactly the same), out of which around 52 rare manuscripts are on display in “Quran Gallery”. The Museum also contains an important collection of items relating to Pakistan's Cultural heritage. Some other galleries display Indus Civilization artifacts, Gandhara Civilization Sculptures, Islamic Art, Miniature Paintings, Ancient Coins and Manuscripts documenting Pakistan's Political History. There is also an interesting Ethnological Gallery with life size statues of different ethnicities living in the four provinces of Pakistan.
This museum shows statues of mohenjodaro like budha priest, tarracota toys and other statues of god like saraswati, vishnu, lakshmi, durga devi etc It also shows some ancient coins found in those hijri and some belongings of the national hero of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam such as his pen, cuffs, sword, Allama Iqbal such as the chair he used, pen, and Liaqat Ali Khan such as itar bottle, watch, stick, etc. This museum also shows some parts of the quran found at that time. There are sections which show the clothing muslims used to make, the pottery work done by people, the apparatus used at that time, glassess made by muslims and some pictures which indicates that what happened at that time for example the stories of the Buddha, culture etc
The Museum has a collection of 58,000 old coins (some dating from 74 Al-Hijra), and hundreds of well-preserved sculptures. Some 70,000 publications, books and other reading material of the Archeology and Museums Department were also shifted to the National Museum so that general public could see them. Every year National Museum holds around a dozen exhibitions on National Days and other occasions.
For the preservation of the collection, a conservation laboratory is also a part of the Museum. The Museum premises also has an auditorium with 250 seating capacity.