Australian Conservation Experts to Train Kerala Museums – 18 March, 2011

Australian High Commission Media Release 18 March 2011

Australian Conservation Experts to Train Kerala Museums

AusHeritage, Australia’s international cultural heritage network and Kerala’s Institute for Management in Government will collaborate on a one day training forum for Museums in Kerala. The focus of the workshop will be on equipping Museum staff to manage major risks to cultural collections. Topics covered will include minimising damage to Kerala’s cultural collections from insects, disasters and during transport. The forum will be held at Kerala’s Institute for Management and Government, Trivandrum on Saturday March 19, 2011.The Australian delegation includes the Chairman of AusHeritage Vinod Daniel and conservation expert Catherine Millikan. Mr K. Jeyakumar, Additional Chief Secretary for Home and Vigilance for Kerala and former Joint Secretary in the Ministry for Culture (New Delhi) will be the Chief Guest.

“Capacity building in Museums is a critical aspect all over the world and I am delighted that this forum will enable knowledge transfer to better preserve our collective heritage” said Mr Vinod Daniel, Chairman of AusHeritage. He added that he was delighted that two members of the team could travel to Kerala following a very successful visit to Santiniketan to work with Visva-Bharati University in developing a functional brief for a new Museum for Rabindranath Tagore. He was also thankful to Mr Shashi Tharoor for suggesting this to AusHeritage.

Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Peter Varghese, said he was “delighted that the Australian Government was able to support this important forum in Kerala, a state with such rich cultural heritage.”

Mr Manoj Kumar, Secretary of NORKA and Director of IMG said that he would be keen to produce a monograph of the workshop both in English and Malayalam so that all Museums in Kerala can benefit for this workshop. Dr V. Venu, Secretary of Culture and Tourism was very supportive and appreciative that this forum is happening in Trivandrum.

Through support from the Australia-India Council (AIC), AusHeritage members have worked on many projects in India including developing a functional brief for the Tagore Museum in Santiniketan, providing assistance for designing an international exhibition gallery for the Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya in Mumbai, developing a charter for conservation of buildings for the Indian National Trust for Art and Culture, Capacity building for Museums in Assam, Kerala, West Bengal and Delhi and several other preservation initiatives. In 2000, thirty three cultural artefacts from Erode were repatriated from Australia to the Government Museum in Chennai. AusHeritage has memorandum of understandings with INTACH and the Madras Christian College.

The AIC was established in 1992 to broaden the relationship between Australia and India by encouraging and supporting people-to-people links and increasing levels of knowledge and understanding between both countries.

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. For further information please contact Vinod Daniel, Chair, AusHeritage on 91 9840237322.

The following articles aer from Indian newspapers reporting on the forum: