& Cultural Centre
of Higher Education in French
The abstract of the Treaty of Cession of Article No. IX of the Treaty
"The Government of India shall assist in the continuance of the French Cultural Heritage in the said Territory in accordance with the wishes of the people of the French Town of Chandernagore and shall permit the continuance of establishment of Cultural Services by the Government of French Republic".
For the fulfillment of the treaty, Harihar Sett offered to the Government of India proposed Museum and cultural center in the French Administrator's Residence, his own collection. For an inspection of the collection, the Government of India dispatched the renowned archaeologist, Dr. Sivaramamurty, Director, National Museum.
As recommended by Dr. Sivaramamurty, the Museum was established by an order of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, with a new budget head for the maintenance of Museum, which is non-operative now.
The Government of India constituted a Commission under the Chairmanship of Dr. Amar Nath Jha to make further recommendations.
JHA COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION NO. VII.
"There should be established a Cultural Centre with a Museum, Library and Art Gallery and Reading Room and efforts should be made to invite eminent scholars to deliver lectures on French Litterature and Culture from time to time".
Recommendation No. XIII 1954 of the LOK SABHA.
"The facilities that existed here in the past in regard to the study of French should be continued".
In pursuance of these recommendations, the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India decided in 1954 that
"Facilities will be provided for the maintenance and development of French Culture in Chandernagore".
The Finance Department, Government of India allocated Rs. 2 (two) lakhs as an initial cost for establishment of Museum as a Cultural Centre.
The abstract of the Merger Act
Merger Act, Article No. 13
(1) All properties and assets within Chandernagore which immediately before the appointed day, are vested in the Central Government for the purpose of the administration of Chandernagore shall as from that day, vest in the State Government unless the purposes for which such property or assets are held immediately before that day are Union purposes.
As a result of Merger Act the building was handed over to P. W. D., Government of West Bengal.
The friendship between the two Governments developed from time to time. The agreement of SHASTRI - POMPIDOU gave light to cultural, scientific and technical cooperation.
Abstract of SHASTRI - POMPIDOU COMMUNICATION, February, 1965.
"The Prime Ministers noted that a cultural agreement between the two countries is now under discussion and will be concluded shortly. The agreement will include provision for Scientific and Technical Co-operation. They agreed that the present arrangements for such Cooperation and for such Cultural Exchanges, need to be enlarged in scope and size. There already exist centres and institutions in both the Countries which are devoted to acquainting the respective peoples with each other's Culture, Civilisation and Language and the Prime Ministers are confident that these will serve as suitable basis for the promotion of a real understanding between the two peoples. The Prime Ministers agreed that the two Governments should henceforward have regular periodical consultations in Paris or in New Delhi at appropriate levels".
In pursuance of SHASTRI - POMPIDOU COMMUNICATION, the Government of West Bengal, Education Department prepared a development project and issued Order No. 61-Edn. (D)/8H-2/65 by which the
Museum was reoriented as a Regional Institute of the collaboration between India and France for better acquaintance between the people of INDIA and FRANCE about each others culture, civilization and language for promotion of understanding between two great nations along with a library and French learning course under the name "INDO FRENCH CULTURAL CENTRE AND MUSEUM" at Dupleix House, former French Governor's Residence in 1966.
The Administrator of Chandernagore acted as the in charge of the Museum and the Art Gallery between 1952 to 1954. ADM(General), Hooghly Collectorate acted as the administrator of Chandernagore and also the in-charge of the museum between 1954 to 1966. Subsequently, the post was redesignated as Director (Ex-Officio) Indo-French Cultural Centre and Museum.
In 1994, Mr. Louis Mezin, museum expert of the French Government submitted a proposal for restructuring the museum and suggested that the Main building should be used as a museum.
The museum now occupies the major part of the main building with an area of about 550 sq.m with displays in 10 (ten) rooms. The display project of the Galleries has been taken up after the meeting of the Indo-French Advisory Committee, which was held on 26th February, 1996.
The display project works are yet incomplete, awaiting funds and 75 objects from the French Government.