Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai had submitted
a proposal for up-gradation & Modernization and sought financial
assistance of Rs. 12.43 crores from the Ministry of Culture,
Government of India to be spent during 2008-10.
The Union Ministry of Culture has given its administrative
approval for the same.
About the Museum
For a long time people felt the need for a good Museum
and finally the Museum was established by public contribution aided
by the Government of Bombay Presidency. The Foundation Stone of the
Museum was laid by the Prince of Wales on
the 11th of November, 1905 and the Museum was
named Prince of Wales Museum of Western India.
The architect of the building, George Wittet, was
selected after an open competition in 1909. Wittet is known for the
Indo Saracenic style of architecture of which this Museum is one of
the best examples. The Indo-Saracenic style combines Hindu and
Islamic elements while incorporating some elements of Western
The building was completed in 1914 but the Museum was
only opened to the public on
the 10th of January, 1922. Till then it was
used by the military as a hospital and for the Children’s Welfare
Many things have changed since then, Bombay is now known
as Mumbai and the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India has been
renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya. The Museum
is set in a well laid out garden which retains
it’s original plan even today. The Museum is a Grade I
Heritage Building of the city. It has bagged the 1st
prize awarded by the Indian Heritage Society for heritage building
The collection of the Museum started almost simultaneously with the
foundation of the Museum building in 1905. The Museum acquired a
well-known collection of Indian miniatures and other antiquities in
1915. The excavated artifacts from the Buddha stupa of Mirpurkhas
were brought to the Museum in 1919. The art collection of Sir Ratan
Tata and Sir Dorab Tata were bequeathed to this Museum in 1921 and
1933 respectively. The Tata collection comprises of two major
collections: The European and the Far Eastern. Some outstanding
Indian antiquities also form part of this magnanimous gift.
The Museum is an autonomous body unaided by the
Government, so money was always a constraint. Despite this, the
Museum has added several antiquities to its collection, particularly
in the period after Independence.
The Museum now houses about 50,000 artefacts.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
(formerly Prince of Wales Museum of Western India) situated in a
heritage precinct known as the “Crescent Site” is one of the more
important Museums of the country and a prime cultural institution of
the city of Mumbai. The
building is declared as an A grade heritage building by the Heritage
Committee of Mumbai and is in itself an attraction for the
visitors. The building is situated in an area of about 3 acres
covering a built up area of 12,142.23 sq.m.
The Museum began its modernization program 7 years ago
to keep pace with the changing needs and trends of the 21st
century. This implied upgrading the Museum to International
standards to make it as inviting and as enjoyable as any major
Museum of the world. The main objectives were:
To make the Museum visitor friendly
Integrated display of art objects to create clearer and better
understanding of the collection in particular and Indian arts in
Museum educational programmes, in-house and out reach
Development of new galleries
Establishment of a state-f-the-art Conservation Studio
Provide infotainment to the visitors
It was an uphill task particularly in view of the fact that the
Museum is not supported by either the State or the Central
Government. However, hoping to receive support from Corporate
Houses and interested Public, the Museum embarked on a plan of
creating an infrastructure for the developments mentioned above.
The Museum has already invested Rs. 4.5 crores
towards this modernization plan. According to Museum
authorities financial support from the
Government will enable them to complete this modernization process.
The Museum has already completed Core Programs successfully in its
Phase I modernization programme.
suitable space of about 30,000 sq.ft.,
for relocation and installation of five galleries, a
conservation studio, a visiting exhibition gallery equipped with
climate control and other requirements of a visiting exhibition
and a seminar room, in the East Wing of the Museum.
Reorganisation of stores.
of catalogues, brochures in different languages and other
an audio guide in six languages to the visitors.
and expansion of the Library and providing library and research
facilities to students and research scholars.
facility of a seminar room for lectures, seminars and multimedia
space and some primary facilities for a conservation studio.
two of the five proposed galleries, showcasing Karl and Meherbai
Khandalavala collection and the Coins of India.
gallery for contemporary artists.
catalogue for Museum collection in progress.