Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday inaugurated the restored century old Town Hall and Asiatic Society Library in South Mumbai.
The society is one of the iconic locations in the city and houses a wide collection of some three lakh books in English, Spanish, Hindi, Sanskrit, Marathi, Latin and Chinese languages among others. “There was a threat to the heritage structure and it was in bad shape. The town hall has been well restored and library came out as a wonderful outcome,” Fadnavis said after the inauguration.
The state government is serious about conserving our heritage as it is like protecting and promoting our culture for the youth and future generations, the CM said. The Asiatic Society of Mumbai is a learned society in the field of Asian studies.
The renovation was carried out by Hericon Pvt. Ltd. The managing director of the restoration company, Shrinivas Sulge, said the structure was in bad condition and he was glad to be given the opportunity to conserve the town hall and the library. He said he was happy to see the outcome, which CM Fadnavis also appreciated.
Asiatic library can trace its origin to the Literary Society of Bombay which first met in Mumbai on November 26, 1804, and was founded by Sir James Mackintosh. It was formed with an intention of “promoting useful knowledge, particularly such as is now immediately connected with India”.
After the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland was established in London in 1823, the Literary Society of Bombay affiliated with it and was known as the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (BBRAS) since 1830.
The Bombay Geographical Society merged with it in 1873, followed by the Anthropological Society of Bombay in 1896. In 1954, it was separated from the Royal Asiatic Society and renamed as the Asiatic Society of Bombay.