Indo-Portuguese Museum in Fort Kochi
The Indo-Portuguese Museum situated in Fort Kochi throws light on the strong Portuguese influence in both the art and the architecture of the region. The museum today is an important center for understanding the Indo-Portuguese Christian Art heritage, which is still surviving. The museum is the outcome of the untiring efforts of the late Dr. Joseph Kureethra, Bishop of Kochi. Driven by sheer commitment to protect the rich heritage of his Diocese, the bishop established the Indo-Portuguese Museum to preserve some of the invaluable collections for posterity. The museum is divided into five main sections, according to the nature of items displayed. They are - Altar, Treasure, Procession, Civil Life and Cathedral. The museum currently houses some outstanding collections and is well known for its artistic and architectural marvels, which bear the mark of strong Portuguese influence. Some of these include a piece of the altar made in teak wood (16th century) from the Church of Our Lady of Hope, Vypeen, a chasuble (19th century) from Bishop's House, Fort Kochi, Processional cross, which is a combination of silver and wood (17th century) from Santa Cruz Cathedral, Fort Kochi, Indo-Portuguese Monstrance (18-19th century), from The Church of Our Lady of Hope, Vypeen. Among the displayed items, the Coat of Arms of the Franciscans needs special mention The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation has also contributed to the rich collection at the Indo-Portuguese Museum and these include sculptures, precious metal objects and vestments, among others from the Cathedral of Santa Cruz and other churches of the Kochi diocese. The Indo-Portuguese Museum in Kochi is indeed one of those symbols in the annals of Kochi, bearing the rich heritage of Indo-Portuguese culture and artistic influence.