Museum a forgotten heritage
The Dutch Museum was built in the early 18th century and is a
registered archaeological monument which is now maintained by the
Department of Museums. Professor K.D. Paranavithana, former Deputy
Director of the National Archives says that the Dutch Museum in Colombo
is neglected and is in a bad condition.
Professor K.D. Paranavithana
Pic: Susantha Wijaygunasekare
He says that tourists do not visit the museum because of its poor
state and also because there are no parking facilities.
Paranavithana says there is danger to the building because it is
located next to the Ceylon Electricity Board, and the transmission
centre is situated adjacent to the museum wall and the transformer is
fixed on the side of the museum.
He said the Department of Museums and the Department of Archaeology
have been informed, but no action has been taken. He further says the
museum houses very valuable furniture that could deteriorate because of
pollution. Pollution is also causing the museum walls to flake and
collapse. When asked about having a cafe inside the museum, he said the
museum should first be restored. "The Department of Museums and the
Department of Archaeology should take the initiative to restore the
building and political backing is necessary." Paranavithana said. In
addition to furniture the museum also houses antique plates, a coin
collection and armour belonging to the Kandyan Kingdom.
The quadrangle inside the museum is the only patch of greenery in
Pettah and it contains a well which was built by the Ports Authority.