Capital showcasing history in nine stories
A wide swath of the millennia-old Indian civilization came alive through a cluster of artefacts of astonishing brilliance, as the National Museum in the Capital began a nearly two-month transcontinental exhibition.
Titled 'India and The World: A History in nine stories', the exhibition takes the viewers on an intriguing and exhilarating trip of the country's spectacular past and its links with the outside world since antiquity. It is the first of its kind event in India which marks an unprecedented collaboration in museum exhibition with the British Museum, London; National Museum, New Delhi; Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sanghahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai; and some 20 private collections pooling in their resources for the phenomenal show.
Chief Guest, Ram Bahadur Rai, President, IGNCA, formally inaugurated the exhibition on June 2, unveiling a unique line-up of around 200 ancient and modern exhibits which offer a chronological and thematic depiction of the evolution of India, with multiple expressions of art and artefacts, stories and aesthetics.
A host of dignitaries, including British High Commissioner to India Sir Dominic Asquith; LN Sharma, Chief Post Master General, Delhi Circle, Dr Hartwig Fischer, Director, British Museum; and Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Director General, CSMVS were present at the inauguration.
"This is also a celebration of cultural exchanges and a moment to remember that our civilization has existed for millions of years and what it has given to the world in terms of culture, science, and spirituality," the Chief Guest said.
The exhibition, which is supported by the Union Culture Ministry, Tata Trusts, the Getty Foundation and the Newton Bhabha Fund, will run till June 30 from 10 am to 6 pm, except on Mondays and public holidays.
The seven-week long exhibition commemorates 70 years of Indian independence and a year of major cultural exchange between India and the UK.
National Museum Director-General Dr B R Mani in his welcome address said the exhibition has introduced new features in its Delhi leg, including Braille tactile feature for the visually challenged "for creating a tangible experience and a wide range of connections with the objects".
Among the iconic objects lent by the British Museum is the Greek copy of the Roman discus-thrower Discobolus (2nd AD), Olduvai handaxe, Head in the style of Alexander, a fishtail dagger, and the 2002 Throne of Weapons made from melted down machine guns and rifles used in Mozambique's civil war.
Dr Hartwig Fischer, Director, British Museum said, "'India and the World' represented a new approach and new model of a museum exhibition that sets one culture in a global context of shared histories and common ground.