helping hand for museum revamp
in partnership with the Colombo National Museum has launched a
programme to revamp the Anuradhapura and Pollonnaruwa galleries of the
a ceremony held at the national museum's auditorium on Monday, July
19, HSBC Chief Executive Officer, Mark Humble presented a token cheque
for Rs 6 million to Minister of Cultural Affairs and National
Heritage, Vijitha Herath, in the presence of museum officials
including Director, Colombo National Museum, Dr. Nanda Wickremasinghe.
sponsorship of up to Rs.3 million per gallery will be utilised to
revamp these two galleries, with the installation of light boxes and
information panels to provide visitors with a brief background to the
eras, as well as the inclusion of many more artefacts pertaining to
each historical period.
project will be supervised by Professor Leelananda Prematilleke with
the assistance of a team of specialists from the Department of
National Museums and the Postgraduate Institute of Archeology.
Professor Pematilleke was responsible for organising the Pollonnaruwa
museum, which has gained international fame for its design and layout.
He has also organised the Museum of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy
and the Dambulla museum of paintings.
at the ceremony, Minister Vijitha Herath said that HSBC is the first
private institution to join the government's effort to cultivate a
progressive culture and support a project that will serve as a
positive example for the youth of our society.
Minister also thanked HSBC for taking an exemplary initiative towards
a national exercise and said that although it appeared to be
supporting a cultural programme, the bank has indirectly contributed
towards an economic development project.
to ages past
the diverse facets of heritage education, I need not stress that the
museums, and more importantly, the national museum, play a distinctive
role in educating the public, irrespective of their age, about their
past history and culture through tangible artefacts. It is a happy
augur that this exercise has been expedited very much by a special
event and that is the generosity shown by a leading bank in the
country and overseas - the HSBC - in coming forward to finance two of
the most important galleries, namely Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa,"
the Minister said.
Minister also added that till recent times the national museum housed
the cultural, ethnological and natural history collections under one
roof, which has resulted in some confusion in the minds of the
visitors. "As we all know, because of the skeleton of a whale
that hangs over one section of the ceiling, the national museum was
named 'Katuge', which term is used even today in common parlance. With
the building of separate structures to house other sections, the
original building is being used to display cultural artefacts. Yet it
is imperative that these artifacts be arranged in a manner that would
help the visitor understand Sri Lanka's heritage in a historical
sequence," the Minister said.
on local community projects
speaking at the ceremony, HSBC Chief Executive Officer, Mark Humble
explained that as the 'world's local bank', HSBC believed in
supporting projects that foster education and contribute towards
making a meaningful difference to the local community. "HSBC's
main aim is to help more people to appreciate Sri Lanka's rich past
and especially to instill in our children an appreciation of the glory
of past eras. We hope to inspire future generations to take this
country to greater heights in their own time through an appreciation
of the past - because we believe in sharing our success and caring for
the communities we work in," Humble said.
in 1877, the Colombo National Museum has a long and illustrious
history as does HSBC, which also counts over 100 years in Sri Lanka,
having opened for business in 1892.
the ceremony Humble stressed that as the world's local bank, HSBC
shared Sri Lanka's passion for its rich cultural heritage and hoped to
nurture greater national pride with the sponsorship of these