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Celebrating Museum Day through a Monumental Expo 

Krispin Joseph px

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, inaugurated the International Museum Expo 2023 at Pragati Maidan. Ministry of Culture is organising the three-day event to commemorate the 47th International Museum Day, celebrated May 18th internationally. On the 18th morning at 10.30 PM, Narendra Modi started the ceremony celebrating Museum culture, historical objects, and materials. Several programs are also part of this three-day event, including an exhibition of objects, replicas of objects, heritage walks, panel discussions, cultural programmes, and fun activities for children. 

PM Narendra Modi inaugurates the virtual walkthrough of the upcoming National Museum at North and South Blocks and Unveils the Mascot of the International Museum Expo, Graphic Novel – A Day at the Museum, Directory of Indian Museums, Pocket Map of Kartavya Path, and Museum Cards. “Museum provides inspiration from the past and also gives a sense of duty towards the future”, said Prime Minister in his inaugural speech. 

Exhibition view of International Museum Expo 2023

The International Museum Expo showcases the Museums across India in different areas like Navi, Music, Photography, History, Archeology, anthropology and the National museums and conservation labs. The International Museum Expo is being organised 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”. 

Exhibition Material: A procession from the Red Fort- Painting on Ivory, Framed miniature painting on rectangular Ivory in Mughal style. Man is beating the drums; on the second, a man is holding an emblem; on the third, in the litter, emperor Shah Jahan is seated with two men holding fly-whisks and the other following. Soldiers are tracking their chiefs on horseback. Palaces are seen behind the form, and birds and trees are seen in the background.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi unveiled a five-foot toy in Channapatna Style inspired by the Bronze Dancing Girl of Indus Valley at this event. The stylised and contemporaries’ life-size version of Dancing Girl is an official Mascot of the International Museum Expo 2023. The Mascot is interpreted as a modern-day “Dwarpaal” or the “door-guardian” that directs the audience into the International Museum Expo 2023 affair. 

Abhaya Mudra Buddha\Bodhisattva
Kushana Period
Katra Keshavdev, Mathura (UP)
The famous Buddha or Bodhisattva acquired from Katra Mound is seated on a lion throne beneath the Bodhi trees in Padmasana. The shaven head bearing a snail shell (Ushnisha) is carved with a scalloped halo. A circular mark between the two eyebrows (Urna) represents his enlightenment. The drapery covers one shoulder (Ekansika Sanghati) only. Symbols of his greatness (Mahapurusha Lakshanas) marked on the body are Svastika, Chakra, Triratna and auspicious lines in the hand. Two flywhisk-bearing attendants flank him while two celestials are seen hovering in the air and showering flowers. Though class in a monk’s dress, the inscription on the pedestal labels him as Bodhisattva.

Museums have evolved as a country’s cultural centre and play a significant role in India’s cultural diplomacy. There are many discussions, presentations, and master classes scheduled as a part of the Museum expo. Architect Rahul Gore led today’s master class on the Making of Museum. Rahul Gore talks about the fundamentals of Museum culture and the design aspects of the structure. Before and after the redesigns and renovations, how the architectural idea become a ‘Museum’ is the core of Rahul Gore’s master class. The cultural benefits of the museums are enormous, Rahul Gore said in his presentation. Master classes open up a new area of the Museum Culture.  

The International Museum Expo hosts discussions on Gaming for Museums, Light Installations in Museums, Acoustics in Museums, Museums in Metaverse, Audio-Visual Archiving and Scientific Storage in this three-day programme. These events bring the idea of ‘Museum Culture’ and the vast developed areas of conservation labs from different country locations. From Naval history to costumes, dress, music, and manuscripts, are displayed and explained well. The folklore museum brings folklore to this expo, the Mughal court, and replicas of old artefacts from different periods. 

The museum expo brings a Pocket Map of the Kartavya Path, highlights the diverse Cultural Spaces and establishments and traces the iconic pathways’ history. A set of Museums Cards is available in the show, which is 75 cards with illustrated facades of iconic museums across the country and is an innovative way to introduce museums to people of all ages. Each card holds brief information about Museums.     

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