Australia will collaborate with Visva-Bharati University on a new Tagore museum
In partnership with AusHeritage*, Australia’s international cultural heritage network established by the Australian Government in 1996, Visva-Bharati University engaged in a joint forum in Santiniketan on March 15 and 16, to develop a functional brief, identifying critical aspects of the proposed museum.
The forum explored key aspects for a new “top-of-the-line” museum and the resulting brief can form the basis for the architect and others who will design the structure.
In the framework of this partnership, Australia will provide technical help and expertise to set up this project.
The new museum will store and display current collections from Rabindra Bhavan museum (which houses Tagore’s memorabilia and other heritage items and which is located within the Visva Bharati University), including manuscripts, paintings, furniture, textiles and musical instruments.
The Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Peter Varghese, has declared: “this museum which is soon to be part of a world heritage precinct, will be an important link to Tagore and his central role in Indian history and culture. I am delighted that Australia is able to contribute to this important project.”
Professor Udaya Narayan Singh, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Visva-Bharati and the Director of the Rabindra-Bhavana Museum said: “We are in the process of organising a National Level Open Architectural Competition for a Twin-Museum cum auditorium Complex for Rabindra-Bhavana and Kala-Bhavana (which is a distinguished centre for Visual Art practice and research) at Visva-Bharati at present.”
Mr. Nilanjan Banerjee from Rabindra Bhavan said that the proposed new museum is in its planning stages and this Australian Visva-Bharati collaboration was very important in defining the new Museum.
Mr Jawhar Sircar, Secretary for Culture to the Government of India has also expressed his strong support for this project.
* AusHeritage provides professional, quality support for cultural heritage in the Asia Pacific region through a strong, commercially viable network of Australian cultural heritage services.
It includes Australian universities, national collecting institutions, State galleries, libraries and museums, private architectural firms and private and government conservation services.
It also extends the opportunities for materials conservators, architects, archaeologists, curators, heritage managers, guidebook and catalogue writers, and university academics with skills in museology, historical research, education program development, etc., to sell their expertise internationally.
Its members have worked on many projects in India, including providing assistance for designing an international exhibition gallery for the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum in Mumbai (Winner of the 2010 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation), developing a charter for conservation of buildings for the Indian National Trust for Art and Culture, capacity building for museums in Assam, Kerala, West Bengal and Delhi and several other preservation initiatives.
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