I have recently returned from a wonderful trip to India. I had the opportunity to spend two weeks in Kolkata with Deakin University surveying museums and cultural heritage sites. My particular interest in Kolkata was observing the museums’ approaches to interpretation and education.
The experience was really something else.
The people that we met shared with us their successes, challenges and the issues facing museums in this region, some of which were unique to India and others that had universal reach.
India’s museums have such vast collections of their cultural heritage and this is both to their advantage and their detriment. The large volume of cultural materials puts a strain on resources, especially for smaller museums. Even the smallest regional Indian museums have such a wealth of arts and archaeological artefacts – they are bursting at the seams. There are huge challenges in conserving and preserving these collections and determining what is most significant.
The Indian Museum was closed to the public as it was being refurbished for the 200 year celebration in 2014. Our group were invited behind the scenes…