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International Museum Expo 2023

  • 22 May 2023
  • 5 min read

Why in News?

Recently, the Prime Minister (PM) of India inaugurated the International Museum Expo 2023 in New Delhi to celebrate the 47th International Museum Day (IMD).

  • The PM also unveiled the plan for what is set to be the world's largest museum, Yuge Yugeen Bharat, which will capture 5,000 years of India's history.

What is International Museum Day?

  • About: IMD is observed on 18th May every year to raise awareness among people about the museums.
    • 2023 Theme: ‘Museums, Sustainability and Well Being’
  • History: The Day was instituted in 1977 by the International Council of Museums (ICOM).
  • Objective: To raise awareness about the fact that museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.
  • International Museum Day and SDG: Each year since 2020, the International Museum Day supports a set of Goals from the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. In 2023, we will focus on:
    • Goal 3 Global Health and Wellbeing, Goal 13 Climate Action, Goal 15 Life on Land.

What is International Council of Museum?

  • ICOM is a membership association and a non-governmental organisation that establishes professional and ethical standards for museum activities. It is the only global organisation in the museum field.
  • It was created in 1946 and is headquartered in Paris, France.
  • The ICOM Red Lists of Cultural Objects at Risk are practical tools to curb the illegal traffic of cultural objects.

What are the Major Highlights of the Expo?

  • The Prime Minister unveiled the Mascot of the International Museum Expo, the Graphic Novel – A Day at the Museum, the Directory of Indian Museums, the Pocket Map of Kartavya Path, and Museum Cards.
    • The Mascot of the International Museum Expo is a contemporized version of the Dancing Girl made of wood in the Chennapatnam art style.
  • The Prime Minister also highlighted the significance of museums in preserving history, promoting sustainability, and fostering a sense of well-being.
    • Preserving Heritage and Reviving Cultural Infrastructure:
      • Emphasis is being placed on conserving India's rich heritage and reviving long-lost aspects of the country's cultural legacy.
      • A new cultural infrastructure is being developed to showcase India's fight for independence and its extensive thousand-year-old heritage.
      • Ten special museums are being established to honour and immortalise the contributions of tribal communities in India's freedom struggle.
    • Promoting Sustainability and Well-being:
      • The theme of 'Sustainability and Well-being' aligns with the present-day global priorities, recognizing the significant role museums play in raising awareness and promoting sustainable practices.
    • Combating Smuggling and Appropriation of Artefacts:
      • The challenges of smuggling and appropriation of artefacts, particularly for countries with ancient cultures like India, have been acknowledged.
      • Efforts are being made to recover and repatriate stolen artefacts, resulting in the retrieval of over 240 ancient items in the past nine years.
      • Increased cooperation among art connoisseurs and museums worldwide is advocated to prevent the unethical acquisition of artworks.

Administration of Museums in India

  • Multiple ministries hold charges of various Museums.
  • Not all Museums are administered by the Ministry of Culture.
  • Some are run without government support by a handful of people under a Board of Trustees.

Notable Museums in India

  • National Museum, New Delhi (Subordinate Office under the Ministry of Culture)
  • National Gallery of Modern Art, Bengaluru
  • Victoria Memorial Hall (VMH), Kolkata
  • Asiatic Society, Kolkata
  • National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), New Delhi

Source: PIB

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