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Valuing Culture – Phd Thesis of Dr Deborah Tranter | 22nd December 2021 | 3-5 PM IST

Date – 22 December 2021
Time – 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Topic – Valuing Culture – Phd Thesis of Dr Deborah Tranter

Speaker – Prof Dr Amareswar Galla, UNESCO Chair on Inclusive Museums and Sustainable Heritage Development

The lecture focused on making rhe PhD candidates understand the fundamentals of thesis writing. Drawing on his primary supervisory experience with Dr Deborah Tranter and others from the University of Queensland, Prof Galla reelected on the process of writing a PhD thesis.

Special Address – 61st Foundation Day of National Museum of India

Prof Dr Amareswar Galla delivering a special address to the gathering on the occasion of rhe 61st Foundation Day of National Museum of India, New Delhi on 18th December 2021.

Returning the Loot: How to Tackle the Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Property in South Asia | 15-16 December 2021| UNESCO House, New Delhi


A two-day capacity building workshop focusing on the means to combat the illicit trafficking of cultural property in South Asia was organised at the UNESCO House, with an inaugural session held in the presence of senior government officials and experts, representatives of international organisations and diplomatic missions.

Entitled “Returning the Loot”, and based on the principles of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, the gathering of experts aimed to raise awareness on the need to strengthen national legislation and tighten controls, establish greater regional cooperation, and strengthen security in museums and at heritage sites.

Worldwide, the illicit trafficking of cultural property represents today the third largest international criminal activity, and is surpassed only by drugs and arms trafficking. While the amount of global sales of art and antiques was recorded at US$ 50.1 billion in 2020, experts estimate that the illicit trafficking of cultural property may separately total up to US$10 billion every year.

According to INTERPOL figures, 854,742 cultural objects were seized globally by law enforcement agencies in 2020, but the illicit traffic and looting of cultural heritage increased dramatically in the last decade all over the world, owing in part to globalisation of the marketplace, with easier flows of capital. More recently, the vulnerability of security at sites and museums during the COVID-19 pandemic has also been a point of concern.

“There is a growing recognition of the inalienability of cultural property from its place of origin, and all the stakeholders must work together to fight illicit trafficking. One of the tools at our disposal is the 1970 UNESCO Convention but international partnerships and regional cooperation must be significantly bolstered.”

– Eric Falt, Director of UNESCO New Delhi, opening the deliberations.

He mentioned the joint activities of UNESCO with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and pointed out that the workshop is held in the wake of the recent return of 157 artefacts and antiquities from the United States on the occasion of the visit there of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September 2021.

Among the countries most ready to co-operate with regards to illegal trafficking of cultural property, Mr. Falt singled out and praised Australia, which has returned a number of objects in recent years and has pledged to return 14 more objects in 2022.

Speaking from Canberra, the Curator, Provenance at the National Gallery of Australia, Ms. Bronwyn Campbell spoke of her country’s commitment and willingness to combat illicit trafficking of cultural property.

The session was also addressed by Ms. Lily Pandeya, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Government of India.

“The workshop is a turning point high level UNESCO event that could make India a leading country in fighting illicit traffic in cultural property. A comprehensive systems approach has been  scoped to develop a framework for safeguarding all forms of India’s rich heritage, especially in the context of international looting during the pandemic”

– Prof Dr Amareswar Galla, UNESCO Chair on Inclusive Museums and Sustainable Heritage Development, Anant National University, India

The high level workshop was led by him and focused on capacity-building and engagement with prominent decision-makers and key stakeholders to unpack challenges and opportunities for South Asia.

The 1970 UNESCO Convention marked its 50th anniversary in 2020 and has become increasingly significant against emerging challenges to the protection of cultural heritage from theft and illicit trading. It equips States Parties with a framework  to prohibit and prevent the import, export and transfer of cultural property, as well as encourage its return and restitution.

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Heritage Matters Webinar 21 | Collections, Communities and Connections | 27 October 2021

Title: Collections, Communities and Connections

Date: Wednesday, 27th October 2021

Time: 7:30 – 9:00 PM Indian Standard Time

Recording Link: https://youtu.be/Qpk01cfR-A4

All the international conferences of ICOM and UNESCO in the past two years have emphasised once again the centrality of community engagement in the post pandemic realities of museum development. Despite forty years of such a concern there has been a poverty of inclusive cultural leadership. Heritage Matters 21 brings you a global champion of public archaeology, museums, visitor research and cultural diversity. He hosted the International Research Network Conference on the Inclusive Museum in 2017 in Manchester.

Guest: Dr Nick Merriman, Director of the Horniman Museum and Gardens, London and Honorary Professor of Museum Studies, University of Manchester. Previously he was the Director of the Manchester Museum, England; and held leadership roles at the Museum of London and University College, London. Host: Professor Dr Amareswar Galla, UNESCO Chair on Inclusive Museums and Sustainable Heritage Development, AnantU, Ahmedabad; Emeritus Faculty at the Australian National University, Canberra; and Chairperson, International Research Network Conference on the Inclusive Museum, Philadelphia, 2022. (onmuseums.com)

Heritage Matters Webinar 20 | Monuments, Cities and Connected Histories Confirmation | 6 October 2021

Title: Monuments, Cities and Connected Histories Confirmation

Date: Wednesday, 6th October 2021
Time: 7:30 – 9:00PM Indian Standard Time
Recording Link: Click Here
Pan Macmillan India has launched an aspirational series entitled Magnificent Heritage bringing together heritage conservation and historical writing. The underlying emphasis on evidence based scholarship and multivocality promises new heritage discourse. It is for serious scholars and heritage practitioners. It is also for multiple publics. Accessibility is through lucid writing and at times play between myth and reality. Translating heritage values and making them accessible is an art form. Dr Sinha has excelled at this through his monograph on six World Heritage sites and three Imperial Cities – Delhi, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri.

PanelDr. Shashank Shekhar Sinha is an independent researcher and currently works as Publishing Director at Routledge (South Asia). He formerly taught in undergraduate colleges at the University of Delhi. Isha Banerji is Editor at Pan Macmillan India, where she publishes books across three imprints: Pan, Macmillan and Picador. HostProfessor Dr Amareswar Galla is UNESCO Chair on Inclusive Museum and Sustainable Heritage Development at AnantU, Ahmedabad and Emeritus Faculty at the Australian National University, Canberra.

Heritage Matters Webinar 19 | Indigeneity & Towards A New Social Contract 

Title: Indigeneity & Towards A New Social Contract

Date: Thursday, 5th August 2021
Time: 2:30 – 4:30 PM Indian Standard Time
Recording Link: Click Here
Over 476 million indigenous peoples in 90 countries. 6.2 percent of the global population. Largest in China and India. Nearly 9% in India. Custodians, bearers, and transmitters of diverse knowledge systems. A special relationship with their lands and diverse concepts of development based on their own worldviews and priorities. We listen to indigenous experts from India: Ms Bibitha S. from the Kadar community in Kerala on Sustainable Development; Dr Charisma K. Lepcha, Assistant Professor, Sikkim University, on Anthropological Perspectives; Mr N. Shakmacha Singh, Museum Associate, IGRMS Bhopal, on Museological Approaches; and Ms Lisa Lomdak, Assistant Professor RG University, on Linguistic and Language Imperatives. Moderated by the UNESCO Chair on Museums and Sustainable Heritage Development, Prof Dr Amareswar Galla, UN expert on Indigenous concerns and SDGs.

Heritage Matters Webinar 18 | Public Spaces & Heritage Values – Australian Perspectives | 2nd August 2021 | 2:30 – 4:00 PM IST

Title: Public Spaces & Heritage Values – Australian Perspectives

Date: 2nd August 2021

Time: 2:30-4:00 PM IST

Recording Link: Click Here
Panellist: Dr Caroline Butler-Bowdon, Executive Director, Public Spaces at NSW Department of Planning and Environment, Australia.
Caroline is an outstanding planner with high-level creative and strategic direction in the development, management and delivery of activations across multiple art forms and channels online, onsite and on tour. She has a strong commitment and drive to engage and inspire 21st-century audiences in the joys and relevance of public space, heritage and culture. She is fluid at relationship skills and stakeholder engagement with donors, corporate partners, government (local, state and commonwealth), volunteers, staff, peak industry groups and media. Caroline has deep subject knowledge as an award-winning author and curator in topics relating to architecture, cities, public spaces, museums and lifelong learning. She is a versatile media expert with extensive experience in engaging with audiences in the print and digital environment. Her community attention has focused locally across the world with a renewed interest in our green spaces and shared places. Reclaiming neighborhoods as shared localities is a focus area of interest for the Anant Fellowship at AnantU. It is not only about rethinking and scoping built environment respecting physical distancing but also facilitating redesign of centers and public spaces addressing quality of life indicators. Caroline will share her knowledge and perspectives.
HostDr Amareswar Galla, UNESCO Chair on Inclusive Museums and Sustainable Heritage Development; Professor of Inclusive Cultural Leadership, Anant National University, Ahmedabad, India; and Founding Executive Director, International Institute for the Inclusive Museum, Australia/USA.

Heritage Matters Webinar 17 | Tree Planting as a Spiritual Journey | 5th June 2021 | 9:30-11 PM IST

Title: Tree Planting as a Spiritual Journey

Date: 5th June 2021

Time: 9:30-11:00 PM IST

Recording Link: https://youtu.be/F4LjCx2rKbY

Environmental degradation, Climate crisis and the Pandemic are interrelated. Environmental recovery is a priority. Afforestation and carbon sequestration are critical actions that everyone could take responsibility for as part of their local action plans. World Environment Day advocates putting ecosystem restoration on a pedestal. Reimagine. Recreate. Restore. Together, these form the theme of World Environment Day 2021 on 5 June, a day when the UN seeks to focus the attention of investors, businesses, governments and communities on the increasingly urgent need to restore the Earth’s ecosystems. In this context, Green Sakthi is a not-for-profit collective committed to deepening the relationship between people and nature. (www.greensakthi.org) It aspires to plant 5 million trees in Tamil Nadu, South India. Heritage Matters is focused on: Post Pandemic Sustainability Research: Towards a Green Economic Recovery for Nature, People and Planet. (https://onsustainability.com/) Heritage Matters is partnering with Green Sakthi in a conversation on the deep rootedness of tree planting as a spiritual journey.

Host: Sonya Bekkerman from New York City is an art consultant and Vice President of Divine Love World Charity, a 501 non profit organization.
Initiative: Nathalie Latham, French Australian, has been leading Green Sakthi initiatives since 2010. These include education, solar energy and the #5milliontrees program.
Narrative: Dr Amareswar Galla, UNESCO Chair on Inclusive Museums and Sustainable Heritage Development; Professor of Inclusive Cultural Leadership, Anant National University, Ahmedabad, India; and Founding Executive Director, International Institute for the Inclusive Museum, Australia/USA.

Gandhara Heritage & Buddhism | ICOM Pakistan | 22 May 2021

Link to Session Recording: Click Here

Heritage Matters Webinar 16 | Topic: Shakti – The Female Principle | 21st May 2021 | 2:30-4:00 PM IST

Topic: Shakti – The Female Principle

Date: 21st May 2021, Friday, World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

Time: 2:30-4:00 PM IST

Recording link: Click Here to Access the Recording

About the speaker: Padma Menon is a dancer, philosopher and pioneer in reviving the ancient practice of dance contemplation. Born and raised in India, she was a leading dancer in the Kuchipudi style of dance and trained under the guidance of the legendary Guru Dr Vempati Chinna Satyam. She studied Indian philosophy, yoga and martial arts under traditional lineages. She has lived in Australia and in the Netherlands, where her work has been groundbreaking in mainstreaming Indian dance through a practice that eschewed colonial interpretations of contemporary aesthetics for a radical aesthetic that was sourced from the depths of Indian practice. She mentors women to live to their full and sacred presence. Padma’s specific focus is the reclaiming of Goddess traditions as they are embodied in the roots of Indian dance.

Host: Prof Dr Amareswar Galla, UNESCO Chair on Inclusive Museums and Sustainable Heritage Development; Professor of Inclusive Cultural Leadership, Anant National University, Ahmedabad, India; and Founding Executive Director, International Institute for the Inclusive Museum, Australia/USA.