Museums for the 21st century – Australian heritage experts in Jaipur – 8-10 April 2013

A five member heritage delegation from Australia was in Jaipur from 8 to 10 April to collaborate with the Maharaj Sawai Man Singh II Museum Trust on heritage conservation and cultural tourism.

The Australian and Indian teams took part in a joint forum on museum collections and conservation, heritage architecture and conservation, and cultural tourism. AusHeritage chairman and Australian cultural heritage expert, Mr Vinod Daniel, set the tone for the forum by speaking on ‘The Museum of the 21st Century’ and participants undertook site visits at the Jaipur City Palace and Jaigarh Fort.

Deputy Australian High Commissioner Bernard Philip, Additional Chief Secretary Aditi Mehta, Princess of Jaipur Diya Kumari and AusHeritage Chair Vinod Daniel with Deputy Chair Roger Beeston

Australian Deputy High Commissioner to India, Mr Bernard Philip, said “I am delighted to be at the City Palace for this forum where Australian and Indian experts are sharing their perspectives on issues of cultural importance. Initiatives such as this one, funded by the Australia-India Council, are an important part of the ongoing conversation between our two countries.”

Ms Aditi Mehta, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Rajasthan, opened the forum, hosted by the Secretary of the Museum Trust, Princess Diya Kumari.

“This forum is yet another effort of the Trust to learn the scientific and modern methods of conserving our heritage architecture as well as promoting cultural tourism. We are happy to join hands with AusHeritage in this endeavour”, said the Princess.

Mr 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 wish list.

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

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, and developing a function brief for a Tagore museum in Shanthinketan.

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 inauguration was held at the City Palace Museum, Jaipur, on Monday, 8 April 2013 at 5.00pm.

For further information please contact Vinod Daniel, Chair, AusHeritage on +91-78939-85353.