‘ALOYSEUM’- a Renovated Unique & Pride Museum of St Aloysius Institutions
Mangaluru: Yet another milestone in the history of St Aloysius Institutions, Mangaluru having existed for the last 139 years, will be the launching of the Renovated Unique and Pride of this Jesuit Institutions Museum “ALOYSEUM”, today, Saturday, 16 February 2019 at 5 pm. The Museum was started in 1913 by the Italian Jesuit Fr Chiapi with minerals, herbarium and a collection of Roman coins, a gift of the Collegio Vieta Italy. It has now been shifted from ‘Red Building’ which was located in the premises of St Aloysius High School, to its present location opposite to the Chapel which gives easy access to visitors especially those coming to see the chapel paintings. The Renovated Museum was designed by William James from Bengaluru, who is an interior designer and the display of the exhibits has been planned and executed by Museum Curator Ms Kavitha of Mangaluru who has a Masters in Archaeology and a diploma in Museology.
Following the formal function of the inauguration of the Re-Dedication of World Class St Aloysius Chapel Paintings by Italian artist Antonio Moscheni, after Extreme-Makeover/Restoration, the renovated Äloyseum”Museum will be inaugurated by Rev Dr Francis Serrao SJ, Bishop of Shimoga, along with Nilabh Sinha, Principal Director, INTACH Conservation Institutes (ICI), Art & Material Heritage Division, New Delhi, Mrs Silvana Rizzi, from Milan, Italy, the great grandniece of the painter Antonio Moscheni, Rev Fr Dionysius Vaz SJ-Rector of St Aloysius Institutions, among many other well-wishers and patrons.
Former Rector of St Aloysius Institutions, and also the “Brain-Child” of this Museum, Fr Leo D’souza SJ speaking to Team Mangalorean about the Äloyseum” said, “The present museum has a main hall with five side halls. The main hall has eight large showcases. The first one displays curios from around the world like a Neolithic stone axe, pieces of the Berlin wall, articles from the Holy Land, a piece of rock from the arctic etc. The other show cases have brass and bronze items, a collection of lamps, of African artefacts, antique porcelain vases and dishes and a large collection of cameras from the simple of the early times to modern electronic ones. Smaller showcases have some of the 2000 mineral specimens and fossils, rare stamps and currency notes of various countries”.
“Interesting articles like the first generator which was installed in the college long before electric supply was introduced in Mangaluru, the first computer are also housed in the main hall together with a large number of radios, gramophones and television sets. One of the side halls has a collection of skeletons including that a whale which was got from Beliapatam near Calicut. The other side hall has the first car to come to Mangaluru”.
“In the early days travel was by carriages or on horseback. The horses were tethered to granite posts at the entrance of the High school building. One of these is seen in this section. Rare books and manuscripts including several palm leaf manuscripts, missals as well as vestments used at mass, a Hebrew scroll and other items needing to be kept in air conditioned environment are housed in the next hall. There is a large collection of domestic and agricultural utensils used in this area in early years There are also a large number of items of local culture which are no longer in use. The present generation of people do not know about their use. These are displayed in a way that the visitors get an idea of their use in former times. Along the side walls is a section of photos of yester years dating back to 1902 as well a photo of the celebration of the first Independence Day at the College”
“The weaponry section has cannons from Tippy Sultan’s time, spears and arrows from Abyssinia. Selected items of antique furniture used in the College, including a desk from 1880 with scribbling and etching done by generations of students on it, are also displayed. All the items are labelled in English and Kannada and it is proposed to have a portable audio-visual guides with longer explanations of the artefacts. One of the halls is an audiovisual room. Our vision is to make the museum a user friendly source of information and enjoyment for visitors through proper presentation of a variety of local and international items of edutainment which the college has collected over 130 years. It is proposed to videograph the demonstration of use of the articles of local culture for presentation to the visitors” added Fr Leo D’souza SJ.