Danish missionary's bungalow turned into museum

By PTI Published on Jul 07, 2017 11:11 AM IST

Nagapattinam: A heritage bungalow occupied by German-born Danish missionary Bartholomeum Ziegenbalg, who set up the country's first ever printing press in 1712, has been restored and converted as a museum at nearby Tarangambadi.

Francke Foundation, Halle, Germany, has sponsored the restoration work and museum project in coordination with Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church (TELC), Jasmine Eppert, project manager of the museum, told PTI.

Ziegenbalg's translation of the New Testament into Tamil in 1715, and the New Jerusalem church that he and his associates constructed in 1718, are still in use today.

Eppert further said Francke Foundation wanted to preserve Ziegenbalg's legacy and came forward to restore the bungalow where Ziegenbalg lived in Tarangambadi.

"After obtaining permission from Tamilnadu government, the restoration project was taken up in coordination with TELC. The bungalow has now been restored without affecting the original structure," she said adding that the bungalow had been converted as a museum.

"Articles used by Ziegenbalg, including remains of the printing machines used by him, models of the typeface letters, books have all been collected and put up in the museum. The museum will be inaugurated on July 15," she said.