Aligarh: The Department of Museology, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) digitally celebrated the International Museum Day owing to the pandemic as faculty members, guests and experts created public awareness about the role museums play in developing societies.
Addressing the programme from New Delhi through video conferencing, the Chief Guest, Dr Naaz Rizvi, (Director, National Museum of Natural History, New Delhi) said that it is heart-warming to see that the country continues on the path to the ‘new normalicy’ amid the coronavirus pandemic as institutions like AMU are coming forward to organise activities with great enthusiasm through digital platforms, therefore ensuring safety and social distancing norms.
“The lockdown period can be utilised to expand our reach with latest technology to educate people on how museums as ultimate storehouses of knowledge celebrate inspiration power and legacy of our rich history and heritage,” she added.
Attending the programme from San Francisco, USA, the Guest of Honour, distinguished museologist, Prof Nandan Shastri delineated efforts of international community for saving museums.
He further said that the International Museum Day is a unique moment for institutions all over the world to spread the message that museums are one of the most important means of enrichment of cultures.
In a video conference from Varanasi, Prof Usha Rani Tewari (Chairperson, Department of Museology, Banaras Hindu University) spoke on the work and contribution of Rai Krishna Das, the founder of Bharat Kala Bhavan in Varanasi.
She also spoke on the contributions of various Indian museology stalwarts, giving timelines of the important achievements in the field.
Delivering the welcome address, Dr Mohammad Irfan (Chairman, Department of Museology, AMU) discussed the history and objectives of International Museum Day.
He pointed out that the Covid 19 outbreak has not stopped the world community to observe the occasion as more than 46,000 museums in 155 countries have marked the day with much enthusiasm and zeal through digital means.
“Strategies are required for investment in digital cultural heritage for making museums fit for the crisis,” said Dr Danish Mahmood while conducting the programme. He also proposed the vote of thanks.
Fatima Faheem, AMU research scholar also spoke on the occasion.