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November 19, 2013

Getty Supports Capacity Building for Archaeological Site Museums and Site Management in India



National Culture Fund
New Delhi, India

Julie Jaskol
Getty Communications
(310) 440-7607

The National Culture Fund
and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, announce a three-year historic collaboration with the J. Paul Getty Trust, United States of America, and The British Museum, United Kingdom, to build the capacities of the ASI’s site-museum and site management professionals.

In this landmark collaboration, nearly 100 ASI professionalsarchaeologists, site-museum professionals, site managers, directors and caretakerswill participate in workshops, trainings, conferences and working group meetings in India, Los Angeles, London and other Asian sites to help re-imagine Indian site-museums with enhanced narratives, better collection management and conservation.

“This historic collaboration will help our historic and archeological sites continue to attract and educate visitors into the 21st century,” said Sh. Pravin Srivastava, Director General, ASI, the largest government institution in charge of 3,667 monuments of national importance in India. “This collaboration will provide the training that will allow us to develop management plans for sites of national importance that will protect them for generations to come and provide world-class experiences for contemporary audiences.” ASI monuments and sites have yielded vast quantities of antiquarian remains which have been unearthed and collected at archaeological sites across India. Today ASI maintains 44 site museums at heritage sites across the country.

“This is a excellent opportunity for the Getty’s four programs to contribute their particular areas of expertise to preserve the artistic and cultural heritage of this influential part of the world,” said James Cuno, President and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust, a Los Angeles-based cultural and philanthropic institution, comprising the Getty Conservation Institute, Getty Foundation, J. Paul Getty Museum, and Getty Research Institute, which are dedicated to the conservation, study, and presentation of the world’s artistic legacy.

The British Museum is dedicated to displaying human history and culture. It is a museum of the world, for the world, spanning the history of the world's culturesfrom the stone tools of early humans to 21st-century prints. With a collection of over 8 million objects, the Museum has one of the largest and most wide-ranging collections in existence. The Museum is committed to sharing both the collection and its expertise with museums across the globe. Recent collaborations with India have included the tour of ‘Mummy: the inside story’ to Mumbai and the development of the acclaimed Leadership Training Programme with Indian museum professionals.

Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum said ‘I am delighted that the British Museum is working with the Ministry of Culture, the ASI, the National Culture Fund and the J Paul Getty Trust on this important initiative. The project will involve a series of workshops, training and capacity building to support our colleagues in their efforts to up-grade and improve the ASI site museum in Sarnath. In the course of my recent visits to India and involvement in the Leadership Training Programme I have been hugely impressed by the desire to improve and equip India’s museums for the future. The British Museum is committed to assisting our colleagues in this venture’.

The project is managed by the National Culture Fund, which was created by the Ministry of Culture to undertake public-private partnership projects in the field of heritage, culture and the arts. The National Culture Fund (NCF) is working with ASI to upgrade six site-museums at Sarnath, UP, Nalanda, Bihar, Amaravati and Nagarjunakonda, Andhra Pradesh and Red Fort, New Delhi.

The specific programs undertaken by the collaboration include:

Three workshops

- Best practices for archaeological site museums, at Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, November 2013

- The significance of the Sarnath School of Art, at the British Museum in London, England, in 2014

- Latest updates on Buddhist Art history and recent developments in the Conservation of Objects the conservation of objects, at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California, in 2014

Two training and capacity-building programs

- Cataloguing and digitization of museum collections for public access, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, 2014

- Workshop on development of site management plans for Indian monuments, Delhi and visits to key sites in Asia, 2014

In addition, experts in the fields of museum display, lighting and collection management from the Getty and The British Museum will advise ASI professionals. The workshops and trainings are funded by the Getty Foundation and The British Museum.

The collaborative project will launch on November 19 with an inaugural event at 4:00 pm followed by a three-day international workshop on best practices for archaeological site museums. The inaugural event and workshop will take place at Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, India, where the first site-museum was established in 1904 by Sir John Marshall, the first Director General of ASI.

The event will be attended by officials from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, Archaeological Survey of India, National Culture Fund, J Paul Getty Trust and the British Museum.
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