Thursday 27 October 2016

‘He’s An Honest Professional’

The director of the Indian Museum, Calcutta, responded to some of our questions

Dr B. Venugopal has been the director of the Indian Museum, Calcutta, for the past several years. He responded to some of the questions put to him by Outlook’s Dola Mitra.

Irregularities in the museum are cited as one of the probable reasons for Dr Upadhyay’s disappearance. Your comments?


The question is speculative and allegations require detailed inquiry.

Was Upadhyay being pressurised to withdraw his application for the post of deputy director?

As per our records, he has not yet applied for the position.

Was he made a scapegoat for the damage of a priceless sculpture?

The committee appointed by the trustees that inquired into the ‘Lion Capital’ episode did not find fault with any official. The committee set up by the ministry of culture had held everyone collectively responsible.

Do you have any information that he was suffering from depression?


How would you describe Upadhyay?

He is an honest professional, a loveable colleague with a helpful nature. He was never seen having an argument with anyone in office.

It is said that he was also removed from some important committees. Would you know why?

Not to my knowledge. Since the museum has only a limited number of officers, all of them share the work. Upadhyay was the coordinator of a project involving digitisation of collections and often travelled to Pune. When I was asked to nominate an officer as part of an Indian delegation to Bangladesh, I nominated him. He was also coordinator of an international conservation programme.

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