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Online heritage lectures help museums bridge social distance in Kolkata

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The Times Of India
19th May, 2020 04:26 IST

Kolkata: How did Jamini Roy paint? How did village scenes, sights from everyday life, stories from mythology, inspire him to create his landmark, Mother and Child and Ganesh Janani? How did Abanindranath Tagore create his Varnamala — the unique figures he designed out of the Bengali alphabet?

These were nuggets of info that kids learnt in an interactive audio-visual session arranged by the Victoria Memorial Hall, simultaneously on two social media platforms, to celebrate International Museum Day on Monday.

The Indian Museum not only organized a web lecture on heritage during this occasion, but also involved four other museums to join in and exhibit their collections, while the Birla Industrial and Technological Museum (BITM) engaged kids in a series of experiments from everyday life and explained the science behind them.

City heritage expert GM Kapur was invited to a webinar organized by the Development of Museums and Cultural Spaces, ministry of culture, to speak about how to revitalize museums and cultural spaces.

VMH called the initiative, Museum Comes Home and tied up with art accessibility experts, Nirali and Siddhant Shah, who engaged kids in discovering artefacts preserved inside the museum and even tried their hands at copying them or creating crafts inspired by these artefacts.

“This year we couldn’t continue with our tradition of holding our special museum day programme on campus. But technology has come into great use,” said Jayanta Sengupta, curator of VMH.

The web lecture given by Amareshwar Galla of International Centre for Inclusive Cultural Leadership on celebrating diversities to understand the cultural past, which was hosted by Indian Museum, had a huge viewership. “We linked up with Gurusaday Museum, Bankim Bhavan, Bangiya Sahitya Parishad and Bishnupur district museum for better co-operation and understanding,” said Arijit Dutta Chowdhury, director, Indian Museum.

“The lockdown has opened up several locks and we have managed to celebrate museum day meaningfully,” said BITM director V S Ramachandran.

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