Known as much for its impressive architecture as for the splendid collection of ancient artifacts and sculptures, the Goa State Museum has done much to preserve the heritage of the state. The humble origins of the museum can be traced to 1973 when the Archeology and Museum unit was set up in the Department of Archives in Goa. This unit was accorded the status of a full-fledged museum in 1977 and was subsequently shifted to the new museum complex at Pato which was inaugurated by the President of India on 18th June 1996. The State Museum of Goa houses an eclectic collection of over 8,000 items including stone sculptures, wooden objects, bronzes, paintings, manuscripts, numismatic collection, and anthropological objects. The museum has been divided into twelve galleries for facilitating the classification and display of the artifacts. While the Sculpture Gallery features stone sculptures and copper inscriptions, the Contemporary Art Gallery displays paintings and sculptures of eminent Goan and Indian artists. The Unique Freedom Struggle Gallery houses rare photographs that elaborate the freedom struggle of Goa.
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