National Museum, established in 1949 at New Delhi, is a subordinate office under Ministry of Culture. It houses over 2.6 lakh art objects dating from prehistoric era onwards.
The main activities of the museums include:
- Bringing out publication on art and culture;
- Acquisition and Conservation of Art objects;
- Organizing exhibitions in India and abroad;
- Production of replicas of selected masterpieces of Indian Sculptures;
- Audio visual and other educational activities including outreach programmes.
The museum presently houses over 2.6 Lakh works of art, of both Indian and foreign origin, covering more than 5,000 years of Indian cultural heritage. The collection covers different objects of archaeology, arms, armour, decorative arts, jewellery, manuscripts, paintings, etc.
The Buddhist art section of the museum is most known for sacred relics of the Buddha (5th-4th century B.C.) unearthed from Piprehwa, Basti district.
The museum also has the National Museum Institute of History of Art, Conservation and Museology established in 1983. It is now a Deemed University since 1989, and run Masters and Doctoral level courses in History of Art, Art Conservation and Art restoration.