A three member heritage delegation from Australia were in Kolkata on 12th April to participate in a joint forum with the J C Bose Trust. The forum discussed best practice approaches as Acharya Bhavan gets converted to a National Science Heritage Museum. Acharya Bhavan, the 110 year old home of Jagadish Chandra Bose was built in 1902 and stands as a reflection of the Indian scientific endeavours as well as a historic site that hosted several Indian legends including Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi. The museum is currently open on a limited basis to the public and the Indian Ministry for Culture had announced that it will be converted to a National Science Heritage Museum.
Australian High Commissioner to India, Mr Patrick Suckling, said “I am delighted at this collaboration since it encompasses two significant areas of bilateral cooperation Science and Culture,”
Mr G M Kapur, Convenor for the Indian National Trust for Art and Culture said he was keen in organising this forum with AusHeritage since he has worked with the Australian organisation on many initiatives over the past decade and has been very keen for Australian best practice approaches for Museums to be become part of the Science Heritage Museum.
Mr Vinod Daniel, Chairman of AusHeritage said AusHeritage and INTACH have had a long standing relationship including a memorandum of understanding and this is one other example where sharing of expertise will assist in the better preservation and display of an important global cultural heritage site. He added that he had visited the house in 2011 and the authenticity of the space including the scientific experiments that were undertaken will be a very interesting display for anyone interested in Science.
The AusHeritage delegation included its Chairman and Museum Specialist Vinod Daniel, Deputy Chairman and Built Heritage Specialist Roger Beeston and Collection Specialist Charlotte Galloway
The Australia-India Council (AIC) was established in 1992 to encourage people-links and increase knowledge and understanding between Australia and India. With the AIC’s support, AusHeritage members have worked 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, Mumbai, West Bengal and Delhi, developing a function brief for a Tagore museum in Shanthinketan 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. AusHeritage has memorandums of understanding with INTACH and the Madras Christian College.
The forum took place at Acharya Bhavan, 93 APC Road Kolkata on Friday April 12, 2013.
For further information please contact Vinod Daniel, Chair, AusHeritage on +91-78939-85353.
AIC website link: www.dfat.gov.au/aic
AusHeritage website link www.ausheritage.org.au