New Delhi (The Hawk): The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the International Museum Expo 2023 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi today. He also inaugurated a virtual walkthrough of the upcoming National Museum at the North and South Blocks. The Prime Minister also took a walkthrough of Techno Mela, Conservation Lab and the Exhibitions showcased on the occasion. The International Museum Expo is being organized as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav to celebrate the 47th International Museum Day with the theme of the year ‘Museums, Sustainability and Well Being’.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister congratulated everyone on the occasion of International Museum Day. Highlighting the significance of the occasion, the Prime Minister mentioned that while India is celebrating Amrit Mahotsav on 75 years of independence, the different chapters of history are becoming alive with the inclusion of technology on the occasion of the International Museum Expo. He said when we enter a museum we engage with the past and the museum presents fact and evidence-based reality and it provides inspiration from the past and also gives a sense of duty towards the future. He said that today’s theme ‘Sustainability and Wellbeing’ highlights the priorities of today's world and makes the event even more relevant. The Prime Minister expressed the hope that today’s efforts will make the young generation better acquainted with their heritage.
The Prime Minister expressed confidence that today’s occasion will be a huge turning point for the world of museums in India. Recalling the ‘Panch Pran’ or the five resolutions taken by the country during the Azadi Ka Amrit Kaal, the Prime Minister emphasized ‘Taking pride in our heritage’ and underlined that a new cultural infrastructure of the country is being developed. In these efforts, the Prime Minister continued, one can find the history of India’s fight for independence as well as the thousand-year-old heritage of the country. He informed that the Government is running a special campaign to conserve local and rural museums along with the heritage of every state and segment of society.
The Prime Minister also mentioned that the development of ten special museums is underway to immortalize the contributions of the tribal communities in India’s freedom struggle, which will be one of the most unique initiatives in the world to provide a glimpse of tribal diversity
The Prime Minister said when a country starts conserving its heritage it gives rise to closeness with other countries also. “Our heritage becomes the harbinger of world unity”, he said.
Click here for the complete text of the Prime Minister’s speech.
On this occasion, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi unveiled the stylised and contemporarised life-size version of a 5-feet tall toy in Channapatna style inspired by the Bronze Dancing Girl of the Sindhu Saraswati Sabhyata which is the official mascot of the International Museum Expo 2023. The Mascot is interpreted as a modern-day “dwarpaal” or the “door-guardian” that ushers the audience into the experience of the International Museum Expo 2023.
Union Minister of Culture and Tourism, Shri G.Kishan Reddy speaking on the occasion explained that the International Museum Expo is being organised as part of the second phase of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav and to celebrate the 47th International Museum Day. Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and inspired by his “Panch Pran” to take “pride in our heritage”, the Ministry of Culture has continuously strived to promote and preserve the country’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage, he added.
The expo will pave the way for a very vibrant Museum movement and ecosystem in the country and the Ministry of Culture through the adoption of new immersive and experiential technologies will make it a memorable experience for all the visitors, the Minister said.
The Minister emphasised that the government is constantly working on the theme of “Vikas bhi, Virasat bhi” where equal focus is given to both development as well as on preserving and promoting cultural heritage. Elaborating on the work done by the government, he mentioned that since 2014, more than 244 antiquities of Indian origin have been brought back to India from abroad, out of which 231 have been brought back after 2014. He also added that since 2014, more than 145 museums have been developed in the country which is 1/3 of the total museums developed by the Ministry of Culture.
Union Ministers of State for Culture, Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, and Union Minister of State for Culture and External Affairs, Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi, and Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, Mr. Manuel Rabaté were among those present on the occasion.
The Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, Mr. Manuel Rabaté in his address quoted Mahatma Gandhi to emphasise that the future depends on what we do today. He explained that he who does not know his past can not make the best of his present or future. He congratulated India and Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for his unwavering support in the promotion and conservation of art and culture in the country.
He added that we can witness the power of art and culture in bridging the divide and transcending the boundaries. Appreciating the organisation of the International Museum Expo, he remarked that it can be a platform to interconnect and learn from one another. In that spirit, Mr. Manuel Rabaté shared 8 innovative models of museums that can act as an inspiration.