The Museum of Independence on Shabagh Road, depicts Bangladesh’s struggle for Independence, covering the history of the nation since Mughal tenure through to Independence in 1971. It is the first and only underground museum in the country. It was designed by Marina Tabassum (born in 1968, around the time of Independence) and opened on 25 March 2015, on the 45th Independence Day. It was built on the site of Suhrawardy Udyan, where Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (1920-75) gave his famous speech declaring the struggle for independence, and where the Pakistani forces finally surrendered after the War of Liberation.
The underground museum is part of a master plan which includes a multimedia projection theatre, an amphitheatre, three water pools, Shikha Chirantony (the eternal flame) symbolising the eternity of Bengali nationalism, and a mural based on the struggle for Independence.
There is a 155-seat auditorium. The focal point to the museum is the Tower of Light, a 50-meter-high tower composed of stacked glass panels. The plaza area has 5,669 square meters of tiled flooring. The underground terrace has a fountain at the centre with water falling from over the ceiling.
The museum holds over 300 historic photographs in 144 glass panels, displaying the history of Bangladesh. Terracotta, pictures and paper clippings of the war of liberation are on display, and the gallery holds copies of foreign newspapers and reports showing the progress of the war of liberation. The gallery also showcases significant archaeological sites and monuments. There is a replica of the table, at which Lieutenant General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi (1915-2004) Commander of Eastern Command, of the Pakistan Army, signed the document of surrender.
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