NEW DELHI, 7 February, 2017 – The Ministry of External Affairs in association with INTACH organized the ASEM Workshop on Techniques and Instruments for Conservation of Monuments and Artefacts in New Delhi from 6-7 February 2017.
ASEM stands for the Asia Europe Meeting which is a unique platform for dialogue and cooperation between Asia and Europe - two of the oldest and most dynamic continents on the planet. The grouping was created out of the mutual recognition that both continents would benefit immensely from further strengthening their multifarious relationship, especially in the context of the new challenges and exciting opportunities of the contemporary world. The ASEM dialogue process encompasses political, economic and socio-cultural cooperation, which is undertaken in a spirit of mutual respect and equal partnership.
The workshop was attended by more than 80 participants from Asia and Europe including practitioners and policy makers, museologists, conservationists, archivists, students and researchers etc. Maj.Gen. (Retd.) L.K. Gupta, Chairman, INTACH gave the welcome address which was followed by an Inaugural Address that was delivered by Ms.Preeti Saran, Secretary (East), MEA. Ms. Pooja Kapur, Joint Secretary (ASEAN ML) delivered the Valedictory Address.
The workshop included a number of technical sessions covering various aspects of Conservation techniques and technologies with eminent speakers from India and ASEM countries sharing their expertise. The panel discussions featured subjects such as Advancements in Art Conservation and Training, use of Modern Technology for Cultural Heritage and Phased Acquisition of Conservation Paraphernalia. The discussions were followed by Field visits to the INTACH Conservation Laboratory, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts and Humayun’s Tomb World Heritage Site.
There is an increasing awareness among countries in Asia and Europe on the need to focus on obtaining an understanding of our cultural heritage and taking due measures to ensure its conservation. Each country has certain core competencies and has evolved certain technologies and techniques post research in the field of Conservation. There is recognition, therefore, of the fact that there is ample scope of collaboration among nations within the multilateral framework provided by ASEM.
The two days technical sessions have highlighted the strengths as well as the further requirements in the field of techniques and equipment used in conservation of monuments. Art conservation in India had a slow start but is now progressing fast to keep pace with other nations. The Globalization and rapid and easy communication in the internet age has enabled a very fast and easy transfer of materials as well as technical know how.
The discussions will contribute to bringing ASEM countries on a common platform towards the process of conservation of monuments and artefacts, as these practice vastly different techniques and technologies.