Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that preserving country’s heritage has been the priority of his government, but he lamented that not enough was done to protect it after Independence.
Speaking to a crowd here at Pragati Maidan following the opening of the International Museum Expo 2023, Modi also brought up the issue of the trafficking of ancient Indian artwork and antiquities. He claimed that because of India’s rising international standing, other nations have begun bringing back items with Indian heritage.
According to Modi, ten unique museums are being constructed to commemorate the role played by the tribal population in the nation’s war for independence.
He noted that the extensive period of slavery also led to the destruction of the nation’s oral and unwritten traditions.
He said that this was not just India’s loss but also the loss of the whole world.
The steps that ought to have been made after Independence to protect our past, regrettably, weren’t, he added.
He also asked people to make it their mission to preserve historical artefacts.
“For example every household must make a family museum in which they preserve things of their ancestors and elders. Schools and institutions should also make their own museums,” he said.
During the event, Modi also unveiled the mascot of the International Museum Expo, a graphic novel titled “A day at the Museum”, a directory of Indian museums, a pocket map of Kartavya Path, and museum cards.
The mascot of the International Museum Expo is a contemporised version of the dancing girl made of wood in the Chennapatnam art style.
The graphic novel portrays a group of children visiting the National Museum where they learn about different career opportunities that are available at a museum.
The Kartavya Path pocket map showcases many cultural locations and institutions while also chronicling the development of the iconic pathway.
The Museums cards are a set of 75 cards that feature illustrations of the distinctive facades of national museums. They are a creative method to introduce museums to people of all ages and each card includes a summary of the museum.
According to a formal announcement, the expo is being held as a part of “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” to commemorate the 47th International Museum Day (IMD).
“Museums, sustainability, and well-being” is the IMD theme for this year.
The expo is designed to initiate a holistic conversation on museums with professionals to enable these to evolve as cultural centres that play a pivotal role in India’s cultural diplomacy, it said.
During the programme, Modi also inaugurated a virtual walkthrough of the upcoming national museum at North Block and South Block.
(With inputs from PTI)