MONETARY MUSEUM & ART GALLERY

AMANULLAH BASHAR
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)
July 4 - 10, 20
11

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has finally materialized the idea of establishing a monetary museum and an art gallery, which is bound to go a long way to portray the monetary journey of Pakistan as well as encouraging art talents in the country.

The building where this monetary museum is housed has a historical significance and when the idea of establishing a monetary museum was conceived, there was a library in this building. Realizing the historical value of this building, the library was shifted to Learning Resource Centre (LRC) and now the building would be used for SBP Museum and Art Gallery.

Dr. Ishrat Husain, Director IBA and former Governor State Bank of Pakistan speaking on curtain raising last week said that he was delighted to see one of his projects transforming into reality. 'Though this project was started in my tenor yet its completion is the result of the collective efforts of my successors, Dr Shamshad Akhtar, Syed Salim Raza and present Governor Shahid H. Kardar whose relentless efforts have made my dream fulfilled,' he added.

Moreover, we also wanted to preserve the gems of world's great artist Sadequain that were acquired by the former SBP Governor, Mr. Hasnie during his tenor, said Dr. Ishrat Husain.

There is hardly any central bank in the world, which does not have a monetary museum. Having a monetary museum is a usual function of a central bank, he said, adding, 'One of the reasons of establishing the museum in this building was that we always wanted to preserve the original character of this monumental and historical building.'

Appreciating the efforts of Shahid Kardar, he said that Mr. Kardar is a person who believes in institution building and his patronage for this project will never be forgotten. I am grateful to him and all those who contributed to this project, which is unique in nature, he remarked.

This is just a beginning and we have long way to go ahead. He further said that Pakistani artists have great potential and this is the duty of our state institutions like SBP to patronize and encourage the talented artists especially the young artists, Dr. Ishrat observed.

Appreciating the efforts of Dr. Asma Ibrahim, Director Museum & Art Gallery, he said that she has done a tremendous job. He asked the employees of the State Bank to own this project as it is one of the best projects the SBP has ever initiated.

Earlier, Governor SBP Shahid H. Kardar said that this museum is the first of its kind in Pakistan and was the result of the efforts of Dr. Ishrat Husain.

He paid rich tributes to the Museum Advisory Committee especially its chairperson, Mrs. Sabiha Hassan and members Prof. Salima Hashmi, Dr. Kalimullah Lashari and Mr. Nayyar whose dedicated efforts made this project worth seeing.

The way this museum was conceptualized and materialized has really fascinated him and he was really touched by the work and the rare collection it houses. He said that the State Bank of Pakistan is the biggest repository of Sadequain's murals. He said that he was always inspired by the great artistic work of Sadequain, who was great friend of his father.

In his welcome address, Azhar Kureshi, Executive Director State Bank of Pakistan said that Pakistan is joining the proud group of few nations, who boast of having monetary museums. 'This is definitely a fact that the Pakistan has successfully launched one of the best monetary museums,' he added.

The need for a monetary museum in Pakistan was long felt, and this project has come to a very happy completion. He said that the conservation of the old building of State Bank and its adaption as museum was not only a challenge but also one of the biggest projects of SBP. 'I am happy that the project has successfully been completed,' Kureshi remarked.

Dr. Asma Ibrahim, Director Museum & Art Gallery, SBP while sharing her ideas with the audience said that the collections in the museum are exceptional. She said that SBP is going to unveil Sadequain's murals not seen by the public before this day. She said that our collections span over 2500 years from all corners of the subcontinent.

It may be added here that the 'Museum Section' of the museum comprises of Coin Galleries, Stamp Gallery, Currency Gallery, History of State Bank, Governors' Gallery, and Art Gallery. The 'History of SBP and Governors' Gallery' depicts the history of SBP from its establishment in 1948 till to date.

The 'Art Gallery' of the museum displays Sadequain's murals and other rare paintings. 'Archives Section' deals with the acquisition of archival materials related to historical manuscripts, history of Pakistan, art, historical books etc. 'Technical Section' consists of conservation lab, modeling section, which is responsible for conservation of coins, archival materials, etc. for their preservation and consolidation.

The 'Replica Section' is responsible for preparing replicas/models as souvenirs for the visitors.

'Research Section' deals with publication, and souvenir research. The Publication Section publishes the catalogues, monographs, brochures prepared from the research work carried out by the officers of SBP Museum.