Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the International Museum Expo 2023 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, as part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations. The event marked the 47th International Museum Day, with the theme “Museums, Sustainability and Well Being.” The Prime Minister also inaugurated a virtual walkthrough of the upcoming National Museum and visited various exhibitions, including Techno Mela and the Conservation Lab.
Addressing the International Museum Expo 2023. It is a wonderful platform to showcase our heritage and vibrant culture. https://t.co/Tmg9HHNozY
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 18, 2023
In his address, the Prime Minister emphasized the significance of museums as a means to engage with the past, presenting fact-based reality and providing inspiration and a sense of duty towards the future. He commended the efforts to incorporate technology into the museum experience, making history come alive. The theme of sustainability and well-being was highlighted as relevant to the priorities of today’s world.
The Prime Minister expressed hope that the International Museum Expo would familiarize the younger generation with their heritage. He praised the planning and execution efforts that created a significant impact on visitors’ minds. The Prime Minister believed that the occasion would serve as a turning point for the museum landscape in India.
Noting the loss of heritage during centuries of slavery, including the destruction of ancient manuscripts and libraries, the Prime Minister stressed that it was a loss not only for India but for the world. He lamented the lack of post-independence efforts to revive and preserve the lost heritage, attributing it to a lack of awareness among citizens. The Prime Minister highlighted the government’s campaign to conserve local and rural museums, as well as the development of ten special museums to immortalize the contributions of tribal communities in India’s freedom struggle.
The Prime Minister mentioned several examples of heritage conservation initiatives, such as the redevelopment of Mahatma Gandhi’s Dandi Path and the memorial at the spot where he broke the salt law. He also highlighted the development of cultural infrastructure related to Dr. B R Ambedkar and various museums dedicated to historical figures like Sardar Patel and Govind Guru Ji.
Furthermore, the Prime Minister emphasized the unifying role of heritage, citing examples such as the holy relics of Lord Buddha and St. Ketevan of Goa, which have brought followers and enthusiasts from around the world closer. He encouraged museums to conserve resources and showcase the signs of calamities faced by the Earth, promoting awareness of environmental change.
The Prime Minister suggested the establishment of museums focusing on the journey of grains like Shree Anna Millets, highlighting the growing profile of Ayurveda. He called for a cultural shift where preserving historical artifacts becomes inherent to the nature of the country. He proposed that families, schools, institutions, and cities create their own museums, fostering historical wealth for future generations.
The Prime Minister acknowledged the career opportunities emerging in the museum sector, considering youth associated with subjects like history and architecture as agents of global cultural action. He emphasized the collective challenge of smuggling and appropriation of artifacts and urged international cooperation to combat such crimes. The Prime Minister expressed delight in the return of India’s stolen heritage by various countries
The Prime Minister pledged to conserve India’s heritage and create a new legacy. Union Minister for Culture Shri G. Kishan Reddy and other dignitaries were present at the event, including the Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, Mr. Manuel Rabaté.
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