Opening of puppetry museum postponed
By Shoaib Ahmed
LAHORE: The inauguration of a puppetry museum in Lahore by Punjab Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi on March 21, which is also World Puppet Day, has been postponed as work on the museum has not been completed.
Apart from Pakistan, around 58 countries will celebrate World Puppet Day, such as China, Iran, France, Canada, Russia and Finland. Here, the Rafi Peer Theatre (RPT) will put on various shows on the day, including a 90-minute documentary, ‘Strings of Peace’, on puppets to 70 students of Aitchison College. Museum of Puppetry Director Faizan Pirzada told Daily Times RPT had dearly wanted the opening of the museum to coincide with World Puppet Day, but it was not to be. However, sources said it was the unavailability of the chief minister on March 21 that is the real reason behind the delay.
Mr Pirzada said the theatre has collected a large number of puppets, posters, paintings, photographs, slides, video films, props and other material to exhibit in the museum.
Of the puppets to be on display, there are 160 puppets from RPT and 110 puppets from various countries: Uzbekistan, Indonesia, China, Iran, Greece, Sweden, England, USA, Slovenia, Russia, Poland, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Ecuador. There will be 175 props, 550 posters, 1,000 photographs of puppeteers and their works, 100 slides of various puppet groups, 90 videotapes and 140 books on puppet theatre.
Mr Pirzada said it would be a unique museum where the masterpieces of international puppeteers from all cultures and backgrounds would be exhibited.
He said the main aims of the museum are the preservation of folk puppets and folk theatre forms, to implement professional training programmes, produce documentaries and art on puppets, and develop opportunities for foreign puppeteers to visit Pakistan. The museum, spread over six kanals, is situated at Green Acres, Farm Houses Scheme, 7- kilometer Raiwind Road. He gave the next date for the inauguration of the museum as sometime in May.