Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh today said that 231 stolen antiques had been brought back to India in the last 9 years after Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over. This is in contrast to the fact that till 2014, for almost 70 years since independence, just about 13 invaluable heritage antiques of Indian origin were brought back from abroad by the previous Governments, he said.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said that a total of 231 were brought back after 2014 with the number now going up to 244 antiques. The process of bringing more of such antiquities is continuing on the fast track, he added.
During his visit to the first-ever 3-day International Museum Expo 2023 inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi at Pragati Maidan here, Dr Jitendra Singh, while going around the different pavilions at the Expo, told the media persons that in the last 9 years under PM Modi, several unique new initiatives had been undertaken, one of which was setting up of Science Museums across the country and a beginning had been made by setting up Science Museums in Aspirational Districts.
Through the Department of Biotechnology in the Ministry of Science & Technology, the Minister said, we have already set up museums in the Aspirational district of Chamba in Himachal Pradesh which was inaugurated a few months back. Other places where such museums have already become functional or soon going to become functional are Wayanad in Kerala, Siddharthnagar in Uttar Pradesh, Nuh in Haryana, Dholpur in Rajasthan, Raichur in Karnataka and Kalyani in West Bengal, he added.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said that these museums among other things display the traditional knowledge as well as the success stories of the last few years like the first ever Covid vaccine success story from India, the display of the immune system related to prevention of diseases through vaccines and even includes science quiz corners.
The Union Minister also took a walkthrough of Techno Mela, Conservation Lab and the Exhibitions showcased on the occasion. “Prime Minister Modi has accorded high priority to conserving our heritage and creating a new legacy,” he said, during the visit.
The International Museum Expo is being organised as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav to celebrate the 47th International Museum Day with the theme of the year ‘Museums, Sustainability and Well Being’. The International Museum Expo 2023 was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on International Museum Day celebrated annually on 18th May 2023.
During the visit, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that the Museum Expo is designed to initiate a holistic conversation on Museums to enable them to evolve as cultural centres that play a pivotal role in India’s cultural diplomacy, in a year where India holds the G-20 Presidency.
Dr. Jitendra Singh appreciated the efforts of different stakeholders including Government functionaries, Museum professionals, Academicians and aligned service-technology providers for organising a wonderful Museum expo to spread awareness about the country’s heritage.
The Minister visited the Exhibition of Star Objects that includes 75 curated objects from 25+ museums & institutions across India curated by Ms. Gauri Krishnan Parimoo, Chief Curator. He also visited the Exhibition of 500 book covers on books related to Museums, Museology & Conservation and Ragamala paintings.
The Techno Mela which the Minister visited includes 55+ booths showcasing technologies being used in Museums & museum projects from across the country including showcase of upcoming projects like the Lothal Maritime Heritage Complex, Indian Navy Museums, Police Memorial Museum.
The Minister also visited the Conservation Lab that showcases the art and science of preventive and curative conservation approaches in India across material genres.
The Expo also includes Museum Expo Sessions having Master Classes, Panel Discussions, Workshops & Film Shows and Showcase of Virtual Museums.
Under the aegis of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, Union Ministry of Culture is organising the first-ever International Museum Expo 2023, a three-day event, being held at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi from Thursday, May 18th, to Saturday, May 20th, 2023.