Apart from churches and convents, one of the major attractions in Old Goa is the Museum of Christian Art (MOCA). Some of the finest artifacts of Christian art in Goa are on display at this museum. Recently, the museum underwent an upgrade and several new features have been introduced.
Minister of State for Tourism, Government of India, Shripad Naik in the presence of the Ambassador of Portugal to India, His Excellency Dr Carlos Pereira Marques, Minister of Environment, Nilesh Cabral, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, Vinay Tendulkar along with other Members of the Legislative Assembly and representatives of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Portugal, inaugurated the newly upgraded MOCA.
The Archbishop of Goa and Daman, Filipe Neri Ferrao welcomed the guests, while the chief guest for the opening function, Shripad Naik, spoke about the museum and its contribution to Goa’s tourism. He said that the museum is not just a space for tourists, but also a space of learning various elements, research and conservation.
His Excellency Dr Carlos Pereira Marques focused on the long association of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation with the Museum and specially this recent up-gradation of the museum, which is the result of a joint effort of the museum and the foundation over several decades.
The Minister for Environment, Nilesh Cabral also extended the state governments support towards the museum and congratulated the authorities for the conservation and restoration of the building.
A book entitled One Hundred Iconic Art objects from the Museum of Christian Art was released on the occasion. The book catalogues various important art objects from the museum and articles and essays.
What' new at MOCA:
In the year 2017, the museum collaborated with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation to work on an upgrade plan to keep pace with the world standards of Museography and Museology.
This upgrade includes the restoration of the upper floor (the historic choir loft). It has now become the viewing gallery, and gives visitors a panoramic view of the museum, and simultaneously the Santa Monica church altar.
For senior citizens and differently-abled visitors, the museum has introduced a chair lift so as to enable them to access the mezzanine floor.
Specially-designed display cases with appropriate and equally special lighting, have been introduced for the collection.
The collection has been grouped according to their materials, and arranged in chronological order to interpret Indo-Portuguese art history.
Collaboration and support
The museum has also collaborated with INTACH, New Delhi, to conserve the collection at the museum.
The project was funded by the Ministry of Culture, New Delhi, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Portugal, the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman and the Ministry of Culture, Portugal. Corporates and individuals in India and around the world also donated towards the project.