Nov 16, 2013

Modernisation of Indian Museum!

By M.Y.Siddiqui

The Kolkata based Indian Museum will be celebrating its bi-centenary on February 2, 2014. Preparatory to this, the Union Ministry of Culture and the Board of Trustees of Indian Museum have decided to upgrade the Museum to world heritage class standards by modernizing the displays, signages, security, galleries and other related matters. As a sequel to this, condition survey assessment work was taken up and restoration work of the building housing the Indian Museum is in progress.

Celebration of the bi-centenary year will be an year long affair. Programmes of various activities like exhibitions, seminars, cultural activities, interactions and so on followed by release of a first cover stamp will form part of the celebrations.

The Union Government has decided to ensure that due care will be taken while renovating the heritage building of Indian Museum. Accordingly, conservation and restoration work has been given priority keeping in view the bi-centenary celebrations related activities.

Indian Museum is the second largest Museum after the British Museum in the Commonwealth of Nations of the now extinct British Empire. Kolkata (Calcutta) was chosen by the British rulers as the capital of India, and then known Second City of the British Raj after London. However, the British decided to shift national capital of India, for which the foundation of New Delhi as a new capital of India was laid in 1911, and shifted the capital of India to Delhi from Kolkata in 1927. The British left behind some remarkable world heritage buildings housing Indian Museum, Indian Post Office, National Library, the Statesman House, Indian Zoological Garden & Park, Victoria Memorials, Maidan, Howrah Bridge, Race Course and others, which are unique unto themselves and beyond compare.

Meanwhile, the Government of India has taken fresh initiatives for digitization of the Indian Museum, National Museum and other museums across the nation and masterpieces therein, through increased professionalism, recruitment of staff and capacity building programmes expected to bring in necessary fillip.

To give fillip to modernization of our museums, the Ministry of Culture has signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with the three world famous museums, the British Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum and British Library and set in motion a process to bring qualitative changes in museums in India to keep pace with the international developments in this field. This will involve building up of domain knowledge in best international practices on each of the identified issues for improving the professional competence in the various wings like Curator, Museum Education, Design & Display, Scientific Storage, Conservation, Museum Marketing, Outreach & Collection. It is intended to generate museum leaders and professionals all across the country.

Writer is former Director Public Relations for Ministry of Law & Justice and Railways.

No comments:

Post a Comment