New Delhi: The first-ever International Heritage Symposium and Exhibition (IHSE) incorporating a month-long exhibition was held at the National Museum, Janpath, New Delhi on 15th and 16th January. Organised by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, it was jointly sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology (KSCST).
Hon’ble Minister of Culture and Tourism, Shri Prahlad Singh Patel was the Chief Guest on the occasion. Along with the symposium and exhibition, he also launched two edited books on Digital Heritage, namely: “Digital Hampi: preserving Indian Cultural Heritage and “Heritage Preservation: A Computational Approach”
The ‘IHSE 2020’ has been developed around the frequently articulated need for preserving India’s rich cultural heritage digitally, for the future generations. The two-day event witnessed an interdisciplinary dialogue between scientists, academia, historians, social scientists, practitioners, musicologists, policymakers, allowing for adoption of best practices and technology to preserve world and India’s heritage.
The event bought together for the first time in India, communities from such diverse disciplines such as science, technology, culture and social sciences who are engaged in conservation, preservation and management of world heritage in physical and digital space.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Dr. Anupama Mallik, Organizing Chair for IHSE & Managing Director, Vizara Technologies Pvt Ltd said, “IHSE is a recognition of the need for a meeting of the best minds globally to discuss ways of preserving India’s rich heritage digitally. This event has created an eco-system where all stakeholders working in the Digital and Cultural heritage domain, have come together to identify open issues in Indian heritage management”
There were seven panel sessions organized that explored Digital Heritage Technologies being implemented by the Government, Re-construction and Re-creation of Damaged Sites and Artefacts, Heritage and Artificial Intelligence, Performing Arts: Preserving the tradition (Intangible), Conservation Technologies in Art, Design and Archaeology, Understanding Traditional Engineering Systems for Future (Tangible) and Harnessing the Digital for the Museum Experience.
The month-long IHSE exhibition entitled “INDIAN HERITAGE IN DIGITAL SPACE” will highlight work done under DST initiatives for digitizing heritage and will be the first ever public showcase of digital preservation work that has been undertaken in India using cutting edge AR, VR, MR and AI technologies. The exhibition is showcasing 3D fabricated models of 5 Indian monuments (including Kashi Vishwanath, Taj Mahal, Sun Temple Konark) with interactive Virtual walk-throughs and Projection Mapping, and a room-scale 3D model of a Hampi Temple, with AR, VR and Holographic interactions and much more.
The foundation for IHSE was laid by the Indian Digital Heritage (IDH) project (2010-2014), which was a unique initiative of the Department of Science & Technology supporting collaborative projects between researchers in the areas of technology and humanities for the digital documentation and interpretation of our tangible and intangible heritage. The goal of the IDH Research Project (www.digitalhampi.in) was to extend the power of digital technologies to well beyond monuments to art, architecture and all forms of cultural and historical knowledge. The aim of the project was to go beyond simply storing and sharing the heritage data and knowledge and use emerging technologies to create vivid experiences of the heritage for common users. IDH initiative gave birth to some of the most advanced techniques and technologies in digital heritage preservation, and DST motivated setting up of technology start-ups to translate this research into commercial products, one of them being Vizara Technologies Pvt Ltd.