Islamabad - Like other countries, International Museum Day would be marked in Islamabad on May 18 (tomorrow) whereas thousands of rare ancient artefacts are at the risk of ruining due to absence of proper museum facility in the federal capital.

Although the concerned authorities have announced to establish a national level museum in the federal capital this year, yet no serious efforts are seen this regard, the official source said while talking to APP.

Thousands of artefacts discovered from various historical places in the country or recovered by Customs are at risk of ruining for not having proper facility in the federal capital to protect these. These antiquities included unique sculptures of Buddhist era, clay utensils, guns of British era, oil lamps, jewellery boxes, mother goddess sculptures, lantern, handwritten Holy Quran scripts and many others, the source said.

These artefacts were housed in godowns of different museums while some are placed at the floors and almirahs in different small rooms of the Department of Archaeology and Museums (DOAM) due to lack of space at Sir Syed Memorial Museum Hall.

The source revealed that the architectural design of proposed `National Museum of Pakistan’ was finalised through a competition soon after 8.33 acres land acquisition at Shakarparian from Capital Development Authority (CDA) in 2009. The PC-I for Rs 13,569.589 million was submitted to the authorities in 2008 but the project was suspended for 2-3 years by the then Secretary Culture due to financial constraints. The DOAM again submitted PC-I of Rs 55.577 mln in the September 2015 to the relevant ministry and the approval was still awaited.

After independence, the national museum was established in the then capital of Karachi, which was supposed to be shifted to Islamabad after becoming the federal capital.

A nucleus of the National Museum of Pakistan was established in a private house of E-7 Sector in 1994 but the project was rolled back in 1998 with shifting of the artefacts stored there to Taxila Museum.

Again in 2002, the Nucleus of National Museum was established in a small hall of Sir Syed Memorial Building in Islamabad where only 145 selected artefacts of the previous museum could be housed while the remaining were stored in Taxila Museum.

Now, the source said, the authorities have decided to construct the national level museum on the available land and limited resources after redesigning it. About the International Museum Day celebrations, the official source said no activity has been planned to mark this day in the federal capital so far.