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The German Consul General Walter Stechel at the inauguration ceremony on 5th June 2008
Germany provides 48,000 euro support to Pune museum project

June 12, 2008

The German Foreign Office, through the German Consulate General in Mumbai, India provided funding support of 48,000 euro (approximately 3.1 million rupees) to the Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum in Pune for its project Bringing India’s Heritage To The World. The project helped upgrade the museum’s conservation and display techniques and implemented a knowledge exchange programme between Indian and German experts in modern Museum management.

The Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum is a collection of nearly 21,000 exhibits of everyday art, including writing implements, kitchen utensils, wooden and earthenware objects, miniature paintings, coins, textiles, swords and armours, unique musical instruments, jewellery, carved doors and windows of old houses, children’s toys and much more. The museum was raised by D.G.Kelkar in the memory of his only son “Raja”. He travelled across India over sixty years to collect fine samples of folk art and articles of daily use that are part of the country’s art heritage. This collection is unique in India and of particular importance to the cultural heritage of Maharashtra. It is the cultural highlight of the city of Pune, which has become a hotspot for investment and trade, especially with Germany.

Due to limited resources, till now only about a tenth of the collection could be displayed properly. Through the project “Bringing India’s Heritage to the World”, the museum initiated upgradation of the museum’s Conservation Laboratory to better treat precious artefacts such as ivory items, historical manuscripts, miniature paintings, and paintings and textiles of the Paithan School of western India. Under the project, the museum also improved the display system of the artefacts, including installation of specially-designed LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) and CFLs (Compact Fluoroscent Lamps) that consume less energy and cause minimum damage to the exhibits.

Germany has more than 6,000 museums of different kinds, from those housing some of the world's great collections of painting and sculpture, archaeological and scientific displays to exhibitions of trivia. Over 100 million visitors walk through these museums every year, requiring highly skilled conservation and management techniques for the maintenance of the museums and their artefacts. As part of its Knowledge Exchange activities, in 2005 the Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum initiated projects with the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe and the Hamburger Kunsthalle in Hamburg and with the City of Bremen for working with the Übersee Museum. Specialists from the participating museums had the opportunity to observe how their colleagues worked and to share their experiences in the field of Museology and Museum Management.

Since 1981, Germany has been supporting the preservation of cultural heritage across the globe as part of the Federal Foreign Office’s “Kulturerhalt” – Cultural Preservation – Programme. Between 1981 and 2005, some 34.3 million euros were provided to fund more than 1,300 projects in 132 countries, making the Programme a highly effective instrument of Germany’s foreign cultural and education policy. Restoration projects at the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, western India and the Punakha-Bridge in Bhutan are earlier recipients of grants under this programme. In 2008 the restoration of the Buddhist Alchi Tsatsapuri monastery in Ladakh, northern India, will be supported by the German Government through its Embassy in New Delhi.



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