Aussies to upgrade Indian museums


The AusHeritage Ltd., a network of more than 40 Australian heritage conservation institutions supported by the government of Australia, is lending its expertise to the Indian culture ministry. It will help in capacity building and conservation projects in museums this year, beginning with Kolkata.

“We will begin work at the Victoria Memorial Museum in Kolkata in October on a preventive conservation project of paintings and artefacts both on permanent display at the memorial galleries and in storage,” Vinod Daniel, chairman of AusHeritage who is in New Delhi to draw up a blueprint for the project, said recently.

Chennai-born Daniel, an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, has been working with the Australian government in conservation management since 1995. The focus of his conservation network, the largest in Australia, is the Asia-Pacific region.

Built between 1906 and 1921 as a tribute to Queen Victoria of England, the Victoria Memorial Hall has a large collection of East India Company or British Raj paintings in oil, water colours and aquatints by European painters like Charles D’Oyly, Johann Zoffany, William Hadges, Thomas Hickey, Bultzar Silyyns, Thomas Hickey and Emily Eden, who documented life in India under British rule.

“We are also collaborating with the Indian Museum in Kolkata on a textile conservation project and conducting capacity building workshops in all the museums in the northeastern states of India.

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