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HomeWorldINTACH and AusHeritage sign MoU in Kolkata

INTACH and AusHeritage sign MoU in Kolkata

Joint Forum with Indian Museum, JC Bose memorial trust AusHeritage, Australia’s international network for cultural heritage, and the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) signed an MoU in Kolkata to further enhance cooperation in the preservation, promotion and management of cultural heritage.

The MOU was signed by AusHeritage’s Chair, Vinod Daniel and the INTACH Convener, G M Kapur, in the presence of the Australian Deputy High Commissioner, Bernard Philip, and the Director of the Indian Museum,B. Venugopal, at a joint Australia-India forum to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Indian Museum.

An Australian delegation comprising heritage and conservation specialists are in Kolkata from 9-11April to participate in the forum at the Indian Museum as well as hold consultative meetings with INTACH and the J C Bose Trust.

The delegation’s visit is supported by the Australia-India Council (AIC), a bilateral foundation established by the Australian Government in 1992 to encourage people-to-people links and increase knowledge and understanding between Australia and India.

Philip, who was the guest of honour at the forum, said “I am delighted at this collaboration between Australia and India and to be part of this cultural heritage knowledge sharing forum at the oldest museum in India.”

Kapur said he was delighted on behalf of the National Chairman to renew this memorandum of understanding with AusHeritage.

“This collaboration, will focus on the building conservation aspects of Acharya Bhavan where the J C Bose Science Heritage Museum will be housed, and is an excellent example of what can be achieved with information sharing between the Australian and Indian heritage bodies.”

He added that while the Goethe Institute of Germany in association with the Berlin Museum authorities was advising INTACH on the overall museum project with specific reference to its museological and curatorial aspects, this collaboration will complement the work INTACH is already doing with the Germans.

“AusHeritage and INTACH have worked together for over a decade now on several collaborative projects, including in the development of a conservation charter for INTACH,” said Daniel .
“AusHeritage has worked with major Indian museums and with the museum movement in India going through a revival phase, such forums offer ideal platforms for information sharing and establishing people-to-people linkages within the museum specialist domain,” he added.

Venugopal expressed interest to continue cooperation with Australian museum experts as the Indian Museum upgrades its facilities and exhibition spaces. He added the forum would help build strong conservation human resource capability for India.

The AusHeritage delegation includes its Chairman and Museum Specialist, Vinod Daniel; Deputy Chairman and Built Heritage Specialist Roger Beeston, Collection Specialist Charlotte Galloway and Conservation Specialist Andrew Durham.

With AIC’s support, AusHeritage has worked on many projects in India, including providing assistance for designing an international exhibition gallery for the Chatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai; developing a charter for conservation of buildings for the Indian National Trust for Art and Culture; providing capacity building for museums in Assam, Kerala, Mumbai, West Bengal and Delhi; developing a function brief for a Tagore museum in Shantiniketan, and working with the City Palace in Jaipur on the Jaigarh Fort.
AusHeritage is Australia’s international network for cultural heritage.

The organisation’s members include Australian universities, national collecting institutions, State galleries, libraries and museums, private architectural firms and private and government conservation services.

We wandered the site with other tourists

Yet strangely the place did not seem crowded. I’m not sure if it was the sheer size of the place, or whether the masses congregated in one area and didn’t venture far from the main church, but I didn’t feel overwhelmed by tourists in the monastery.

Headed over Lions Bridge and made our way to the Sofia Synagogue, then sheltered in the Central Market Hall until the recurrent (but short-lived) mid-afternoon rain passed.

Feeling refreshed after an espresso, we walked a short distance to the small but welcoming Banya Bashi Mosque, then descended into the ancient Serdica complex.

We were exhausted after a long day of travel, so we headed back to the hotel and crashed.

I had low expectations about Sofia as a city, but after the walking tour I absolutely loved the place. This was an easy city to navigate, and it was a beautiful city – despite its ugly, staunch and stolid communist-built surrounds. Sofia has a very average facade as you enter the city, but once you lose yourself in the old town area, everything changes.

Clothes can transform your mood and confidence. Fashion moves so quickly that, unless you have a strong point of view, you can lose integrity. I like to be real. I don’t like things to be staged or fussy. I think I’d go mad if I didn’t have a place to escape to. You have to stay true to your heritage, that’s what your brand is about.

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