Australian know-how for Jaipur’s Man Singh museum makeover


New Delhi : A five-member heritage delegation from Australia has arrived in Jaipur to collaborate with the Maharaj Sawai Man Singh II Museum Trust on heritage conservation and cultural tourism. The delegation, which reached April 8, will tour the Pink City and “assess the condition of the museum and the artifacts”.

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The Australian and Indian teams will take part in a joint forum on museum collections and conservation, heritage architecture and conservation, and cultural tourism, the embassy of Australia said.

AusHeritage chairman and Australian cultural heritage expert, Vinod Daniel, set the tone for the forum with an address on “The Museum of the 21st Century”. He said museums had to move out of the conventional spaces and reach out to people and conservation technology had to be upgraded to control deperciation of heritage and cultural artifacts with time and extreme Indian weather.

The participants visited the Jaipur City Palace and the Jaigarh Fort.

Australian Deputy High Commissioner Bernard Philip, said he was delighted to be at the City Palace for the forum.

“Initiatives such as this one, funded by the Australia-India Council, are an important part of the ongoing conversation between our two countries”, he said.

Aditi Mehta, Rajasthan’s additional chief secretary, will inaugurate the forum, hosted by the secretary of the Museum Trust, Diya Kumari. “This forum is yet another effort on the part of the trust to learn the scientific and modern methods to conserve our heritage architecture as well as promoting cultural tourism,” she said.

“We are happy to join hands with AusHeritage in this endeavour,” Divya Kumari added.

Vinod Daniel said the five-member AusHeritage team had a wide range of expertise and he was delighted to collaborate on a project involving the City Palace – a site on every Indian visitor’s wishlist.

In addition to Daniel, Australian experts visiting Jaipur for the forum are collections specialist Charlotte Galloway, heritage architecture specialist Roger Beeston, materials scientist Jim Mann and cultural tourism academic,Keir Reeves.

The Australia-India Council (AIC) established in 1992 to encourage people-people links between the two countries, has been supporting AusHeritage members to work on many projects in India, including providing assistance for designing an international exhibition gallery for the Chatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya in 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 and West Bengal, besides Mumbai and Delhi, and developing a function brief for a Tagore museum in Shanthinketan.

AusHeritage has memoranda of understanding with INTACH and the Madras Christian College.