Mangaluru, Feb 15, 2019: ’Aloyseum’ the museum at St.Aloysius College began as early as 1913 when an Italian Jesuit Fr Chiapi donated 2,000 different types of minerals, herbarium and a collection of Roman coins. For the third time, the museum was relocated from the ‘Red Building’ to its present location, in order to ensure easy access to visitors stopping to see the chapel paintings.
Former Rector of St Aloysius Institutions and Museum In-charge Fr Leo D’souza said that the renovated and relocated museum of St Aloysius College will be inaugurated on Saturday.
A granite post used to tether horses, large mass missals/prayer books with huge fonts and many more artifacts on display at the new sprawling Aloyseum, makes it an unconventional convenient museum.
The new space was designed by William James of Bengaluru and the display of the exhibits was executed by Museum Curator Kavitha of Mangaluru who has a Masters in Archaeology.
The museum displays curios from around the world like a Neolithic stone axe, pieces of the Berlin wall, articles from the Holy Land and a piece of rock from the Arctic.
The museum has interesting articles like the first generator which was installed in the college long before electric supply was introduced in Mangalore, a large number of radios, gramophones, a collection of skeletons including that of a whale and the first car in Mangaluru, that belonged to P F X Saldanha-Shet. The museum has a large collection of domestic and agricultural utensils used in the bygone era.
“The present generation visiting the museum will get to know about their use,” Fr Leo adds with a smile.
Weapons : The weapons section has cannons from Tipu Sultan’s time, spears and arrows from Abyssinia. All items are labelled in English and Kannada.
“We intend to install portable audio-visual guides with a detailed explanation of the artifacts,” he said and added that the museum would also have an audiovisual room. “Our vision is to make the museum a user-friendly source of information and enjoyment for visitors. It is proposed to videograph the demonstration of use of the articles of local culture for presentation to the visitors” Fr Leo D’souza added.
A nominal entry fee would be collected from visitors, Rector of St Aloysius Institutions Fr Dionysius Vaz added.
Paintings in Aloysius chapel restored by INTACH also to open :
The awe-inspiring frescoes and canvasses on the walls and ceilings of St Aloysius college chapel and the college museum, ‘Aloyseum’ relocated in a spacious premises are now a visual delight to visitors. The paintings have been restored by Lucknow-based INTACH Conservation Institute.
Rector of St Aloysius Institutions Fr Dionysius Vaz told media that the restored world-class paintings in the St Aloysius College Chapel will be inaugurated at 5 pm on Feb 16, Saturday.
“The Chapel will be blessed by Shivamogga Bishop Rev Dr Francis Serrao and New Delhi based INTACH Conservation Institutes (ICI, Art and Material Heritage Division) Principal Director Nilabh Sinha will unveil the commemorative plaque,” said Fr Vaz.
The great grandniece of the Italian painter Antonio Moscheni, Silvana Rizzi from Milan in Italy will also be present, Fr Dionysius Vaz informed.
“Italian Jesuit Brother, Antonio Moscheni, a proficient painter trained in the famed Accademia Carrara in Bergamo in Italy, had completed the work of painting the whole church, covering a total of 829 sq metres, with exquisite frescoes and canvasses within 30 months. But all these paintings were badly damaged by rainwater seeping through the walls, dust, fungal growth and humidity,” Fr Vaz said.
He recollected that the paintings were first restored by specialists from INTACH-ICI, Lucknow, in 1991 under the supervision of Dr Agarwal, the then director of INTACH-ICI.
“On Dr Agarwal’s advice that the paintings need to be restored every 20 years, we had invited ICI Principal Director Nilabh Sinha to restore the paintings. The entire conservation work was completed within 18 months at a total expenditure of Rs 1.50 crore,” Fr Vaz said.
The illumination of the paintings was also replaced with special LED lights, he added. Fr Vaz said INTACH specialists were keen on organising a workshop to train students in the art of conservation.