National Museum Institute and the Austrian Cultural Forum will
jointly develop a `village museum’ at Mannanam in Kerala as part
of the continuing cultural collaboration, in the same way both the
sides joined together to develop a similar museum in Nako village
of the Western Himalayas.
This was disclosed by National
Museum Institute (NMI) Vice-Chancellor Dr C V Ananda Bose, after
jointly inaugurating a photo exhibition on Nako, along with
renowned film maker Shaji N Karun, here on Saturday evening.
Dr Bose, who is also the
Administrator of the National Museum, said India and Austria will
sign another memorandum of understanding to identify further areas
for collaborative research and cultural relationship. Mannanam has
been identified as the place for the next village museum putting
together the cultural contributions, practices, and artefacts of
this culturally-rich village in Kottayam district.
As part of the continuing
collaboration, the NMI and the Austrian Cultural Forum held a
two-day round-table conference, attended by experts from both the
sides. Apart from this, national award winning director Shaji also
released a book "Heritage Conservation and Research in Indi- 60
Years of Indo-Austrian Collaboration,’ edited by Gabriela Krist
and Tatjana Bayerová.
The exhibition "Nako-the Living
Cultural Heritage in Western Himalayas’’, compiling photos taken
by Stefen Olah who is teaching photography in the University of
Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria, was jointly opened by Shaji and Dr.
Bose. It will be open till March 20.
At the round-table, both sides have
agreed to continue the cultural cooperation by promoting common
research in topics like museology, doctoral studies in museums,
the documentation of (traditional) knowledge, and displaying the
process instead of results. Both the sides will identify working
groups to take the collaboration further.
The Nako Project, situated in
Himachal Pradesh and just 7 km from the Chinese Tibetan border,
included the establishment of a village museum by the Institute of
Conservation, University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria, in
close cooperation with the National Research Laboratory for the
Conservation of Cultural Property Lucknow (NRLC), the Nako
Buddhist Society and the Nako Youth Club, whose members are also
responsible for the maintenance of the museum. The museum was
inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his visit to
Nako in 2007.
A museum collection was put
together, mostly consisting of contributions by the villagers. The
Institute of Conservation provided training in collection care
(inventory, conservation, display) and exhibition practices to the
village and lama community as well as the members of the Nako
The Village Museum includes
traditional artefacts used in the remote hill area of Nako, such
as characteristic, beautiful woolen dresses, shawls and shoes,
typical dishes and household items, and thangka paintings.