Hyderabad: Union Minister of Culture G Kishan Reddy on Monday said around 47,504 artifacts of the famous Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad, have been digitized.

Located on the banks of the Musi River, India's third-largest museum houses unique artifacts of different time periods and places.

Three generations of a family of nobles who served as prime ministers of Nizams collected the artifacts around the world.

Nawab Mir Turab Ali Khan was bestowed with the title Salar Jung I. He collected the prized possessions included 'Veiled Rebecca', an enchanting marble statue acquired by him from Rome in 1876. Mir Laiq Ali Khan, Salar Jung II, died at the young age of 26. The majority of nearly 50,000 artifacts were collected by Nawab Mir Yousuf Ali Khan, Salar Jung III. He devoted his life to collecting artifacts from various parts of the world.

He spent a substantial amount of his income, over a period of thirty-five years, collecting artifacts from all across the world. Originally a private art collection of the Salar Jung family, it was endowed to the nation after the death of Salar Jung III. It was inaugurated by Jawaharlal Nehru on December 16, 1951. In 1968, the museum was shifted Dar-ul-Shifa.

Meanwhile, Minister of Culture G Kishan Reddy said Ministry has taken up the task of digitization of collections of ten museums under its domain through the Jatan programme since April 2014.

More than 2.8 lakh artifacts of 10 government museums and galleries are available for online access.

"Besides this, the ministry also operates a scheme namely 'Museum Grant Scheme' under which financial assistance is provided to state governments, societies, autonomous bodies, local bodies, and trusts registered under the Societies Act for digitization of art objects in the museums across the country for making their images/catalog available over the website for online access," he said.

This includes 80,997 artifacts in the National Museum in New Delhi and 46,326 in Indian Museum Kolkata, 2,611 in Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata, 61,642 in Allahabad Museum, 12,902 at the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi.

This information was given by the Minister for Culture G. Kishan Reddy in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

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