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Christian Art museum gets back to its best
September 24, 2012
VIBHA VERMA email@example.com
OLD GOA: An empty box at Museum of Christian Art at Old Goa is a grim reminder of the armed heist that took place here some months back. But the tightened security around this vital repository of Goa’s heritage is a welcome sign.
The managers of the Museum were shocked when one of their security guards was killed and priceless items were stolen in January this year, for which lax security measures were blamed.
Officials told Herald that the stolen artifacts date back to 18th and 19th centuries and were contributed to the collection by churches and individuals. “It’s difficult to replace such artifacts. We hope that police will be able to recover them from those who stole
them,” a senior official said.
In the armed robbery on January 25 this year at the museum situated in the Old Goa church complex, a 55-year-old security guard, Luis Bogato, was murdered. Two rosaries, a gold bracelet, a gold belt studded with diamonds and pectoral cross of diamond along with gold chain were stolen by the robbers.
But that was a dark past. Now the museum, which reopened this April, has been revamped to provide fool-proof security. All the artifacts are under strict surveillance and have been methodically arranged in separate compartments.
The museum, which houses 170-odd artifacts, has CCTVs in place and a proper storage facility. Police, while claiming that if the CCTVs had been installed prior to the robbery-cum-murder they would have had a better chance of nabbing the culprits, admit they have still not found any major leads in this case.
Now, a museum official said, the 15-odd new set of CCTVs not only record but also store data for a long period. The management has also contracted a reputed private agency to provide security personnel, who seem to be doing a good job of keeping Goa’s treasures safe.
Earlier, the unarmed guards at the museum were from the NISA security firm in Mumbai and police had arrested two security guards on suspicion. Ravi Kumar, 20, from Bihar, and Tikka Bahadur, 29, from Nepal are currently behind the bars even as Old Goa police have filed only a provisional chargesheet in court. Police have made no recoveries thus far.
But the good news is the museum is back at its best and security measures in place.