Let's talk museums

Updated: May 12, 2019, 08:38 IST | Prutha Bhosle

A panel discussion will discuss the role of Mumbai's cultural institutions, and the need for more museums in the suburbs

Let's talk museums
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya in Fort is managed by a board of governors. File photo

Mumbai's museums are a representation of the city's cultural dynamism. With each passing year, the role of these museums has evolved significantly. Their primary goal of serving researchers is increasingly shifting to serving the general public and also supporting the development of communities. Thus, to mark the International Museums Day, a panel discussion will be held on Friday, May 17, at The National Gallery of Modern Art to examine some of the city's unique and unconventional museums.

As part of this, coordinator of Dharavi Design Museum on Wheels, Kruti Saraiya, object theatre artist Choiti Ghosh and director of archaeology and museums for the government of Maharashtra, Dr Tejas Garge, will be in conversation with oral historian Avehi Menon. These experts will discuss how the role of museums has evolved in a changing world where there is sustained clamour for more openness, and collective involvement in dealing with issues that impact communities.

Dr Tejas Garge
Dr Tejas Garge

Garge, who is working in the field of archaeology and heritage management for the past two decades, says, "I am responsible for the maintenance of government-owned museums within the state. I will be speaking about the state government's ongoing attempt to convert heritage spaces, like the Sewri Fort, into a small-scale museum." Pointing out the fact that all the museums are located only in South Mumbai, Garge adds, "We have not been able to reach the suburbs with the movement of museums. Areas like Panvel and Navi Mumbai are not catered to in terms of arts and museums. The only avenues available to these people are malls and theatres. Why not use these spaces to create small museums instead?"

Garge has recently proposed a new museum in Navi Mumbai, which has been approved on principle. He informs, "In urban spaces, it is very easy to forget our own history. A lot of historical objects keep popping out in the city, but people don't know what to do with them. These objects help us in understanding communities better. At the state government headquarters, we have about 200,000 coins, which could be used to set up a money museum. Therefore, we are exploring possibilities of finding a plot within CIDCO. This will be done so that we never forget our rich past."

Where: NGMA, Fort
When: Friday, May 17. 6 pm to 8 pm
RSVP: www.avidlearning.in

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