After completing the restoration of Wangduechhoeling Palace, Bhutan Foundation, in collaboration with culture department, is working on the gallery plans, narratives, and exhibits for a world-class Palace Museum and Cultural Centre.
The museum has received numerous rare and sacred artefacts from donors. The artefacts include a rare sacred Tashi Gomang, old silk applique thangkas, an 18-19th century Karmapa statue, traditional amulets and jewellery, and textiles indigenous to Bumthang.
A press release from the Bhutan Foundation stated, “Building a museum and cultural centre around available artefacts, informed by interesting narratives, has been a journey of collective endeavour since its inception. Therefore, the magnanimity of these gifts is greatly appreciated.”
Most notable among them is the Tashi Gomang, translated as ‘the many doors of good fortune’, a travelling shrine representing the copper-coloured palace of Guru Padmasambhava, dating back to the 18th-19th century. “There are only 35 such relics recorded in the country by the Tashi Gomang Project,” the release stated.
The “extraordinary gifts’ were donated by Hoch and Oltramare families of the United States and Switzerland respectively, who have been friends of Bhutan through generations. Michael and Nancy McClelland from Los Angeles, and Diana Myers from Washington, DC also gifted several artefacts from their collections.
“With this gesture of goodwill and generosity, it is hoped that the project will receive other significant contributions from well-wishers within Bhutan and elsewhere,” the press release stated.
“Creating intentional accessibility and inclusivity for the public, the Palace project aims to safeguard the country’s rich heritage and pass it on to the next generation of Bhutanese,” the release stated.
The Wangduechhoeling Palace Project is implemented under the guidance of Her Majesty Gyalyum Tseyring Pem Wangchuck.
“It aims to be a cultural hub, a place where people from all backgrounds can come together to connect with the exhibitions, immersive programs, and stories in their many forms, to gain a greater understanding of Bhutan’s history and culture in general, and that of the Palace and Bumthang specifically. And all this will happen within the architectural grandeur of a Palace that has historic significance as the seat of Bhutan’s monarchy,” the release stated.