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International Symposium “Imaginations; Rural, Urban, Global” | 6 & 7 February 2022

International Symposium | Educational Pedagogies & Technologies for Sustainable Development | 24-26 January 2022

The International Symposium on “Educational Pedagogies & Technologies for Sustainable Development (EPTS 2022)”  spanning across 3 days will showcase the following:

    1. Renowned speakers presenting keynote addresses by sharing experiences in the areas of pedagogical approaches and educational technologies and vision on reimagining education.

    2. The keynote addresses will be followed by a panel discussion to brainstorm and ideate on the design and development of a global curriculum and an online platform for educating students and faculty on different pathways for translating sustainable innovation and development in communities through participatory approaches.  The platform aims to educate students and empower communities worldwide in designing, developing, deploying, and sustaining solutions in alignment with UN SDGs.

Updates on the event can be found here: https://amrita.edu/epts/

Prof Galla delivered a keynote address on Indigeneity, Inclusion and Sustainability and participated in the panel discussion on Ethics of Engagement and Cultural Democracy in the Digital Domain. 

Culture, Heritage and Spirituality | India Pavillion at Dubai Expo 2020

India is one of the best-prepared countries for post-pandemic tours. It creates the opportunity to reflect and rethink the future of tourism by bringing about a paradigm shift in diversifying visitor experiences: Professor Amareswar Galla, PhD, Chair Inclusive Museums and Sustainable Heritage Development, UNESCO, at the session, Discover #Incrediblelndia Connecting with Culture, Heritage & Spirituality, at #IndiaPavilion #Expo2020Dubai #IndiaAtDubaiExpo #Expo2020Dubai #Investindia #AmritMahotsav

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.

Useful links:

Gandhara Heritage & Buddhism | ICOM Pakistan | 22 May 2021

Link to Session Recording: Click Here

Book Launch | Incredible Treasures_UNESCO World Heritage Sites of India | By Mapin Publishing

Revisiting Sites: Understanding Gender in the Heritage Sites | 18 April 2021 | World Heritage Day

On World Heritage Day, West Bengal Art Leadership Council, WICCI organized the talk to understand and revisit the placement of gender in terms of equality and equity in heritage sites of India. The president of WBALC, WICCI Ms. Reena Dewan was in conversation with Prof. Amareswar Galla.

Link to Recording: Click Here

Bihar Museum Biennale | Visions for Future Museums | 24th March 2021 | 5:30-6:45 PM

Registration Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_LExyyiVgTGeJq6dFld8gzg

Having experienced the impetus to museum cultures, their engagement, and their outreach via the necessary adaptation required due to the pandemic how do we see the museum experience undergoing a change in the future? What is the new role of the museum? How is the museum visit going to change in terms of interaction, the virtual, and the exploratory? What role will data play in informing museum cultures? What can museums do to keep up with the technological and interactive design advancement to stay relevant? What will be the elements of the museum of the future?

Dr Amareswar Galla (UNESCO Chair on Inclusive Museums and Sustainable Heritage Development, Anant National University, Ahmedabad)
Sabyasachi Mukherjee (Director-General of CSMVS, Mumbai)
Abhishek Poddar (Founder, MAP)
Roobina Karode (Director & Chief Curator of the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art)
Mofidul Hoque (Founder-Trustee, The Liberation War Museum)

Moderator: Suresh Jayaram, Founder of 1.Shanthiroad Studio

UNESCO Online Debate on Museums | Reflections on the Future of Museums | 18th March 2021 | 6:30-9:30 PM IST

UNESCO brings together 12 museum directors from around the world at an online debate on 18 March. The event will focus on the impact of the pandemic on museum institutions, the lessons learnt, how they are addressing ongoing challenges and shaping the future of museums. Over 90% of the world’s 95000 museums have closed their doors during the first wave of Covid19, a considerable percentage of which were shut down again since the last semester of 2020. Even though museums globally have quickly adapted to the situation, the impact of the pandemic will significantly change, even redefine, museums in the post Covid era.

After an opening by Lazare Eloundou Assomo (Director of Culture and Emergencies at UNESCO) and Alberto Garlandini (President of ICOM), the panelists will discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the future of museums within two high-level panels.

The first panel, moderated by Laurella Yssap-Rinçon (Memorial ACTe Guadeloupe), includes Barbara Jatta (Vatican Museums), Barbara Helwing (Vorderasiatisches Museum, Berlin), Xudong Wang (Palace Museum, Beijing), Juliana Restrepo (National Museum of Colombia) and Tristram Hunt (Victoria & Albert Museum, London).

The second panel, moderated by Emmanuel Kasarhérou (Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac museum, Paris), includes Antonio Saborit (National museum of Anthropology of Mexico), Hamady Bocoum (Museum of Black Civilizations, Dakar), Mikhail Piotrovski (State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg), Ahmed Farouk Ghoneim (National museum of Egyptian Civilization, Cairo) and Deborah Lynn Mack (National museum of African Art, Washington D.C.).

Watch the debate in French: http://webcast.unesco.org/live/room-12/fr

Watch the debate in English: http://webcast.unesco.org/live/room-12/en

For any questions or inquiries about this event, please contact UNESCO Museums Unit at: sec.mus@unesco.org