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Role of museums as agents of social change highlighted

Special Correspondent

RMNH celebrates 13th anniversary


‘Museums should not be confined to dilapidated building’

Science of museums not evolved in the country: expert


MYSORE: The Regional Museum of Natural History (RMNH) in the city, the first such centre of the National Museum of Natural History, Delhi, celebrated its 13th anniversary on Tuesday, which coincided with the International Museum Day.

Inaugurated on May 20, 1995, the RMNH, located adjoining the Karanji Lake Nature Park, has some rare exhibits to kindle the curiosity of children and adults alike. Be it the exhibits on ecosystem or species facing extinction, the importance of wetlands or the process of evolution. The RMNH, with its captivating environment, makes learning truly enjoyable.

Lecture

To mark the occasion, scientist in-charge C. Rajasundaram had organised a lecture on “Museums as agents of social change” which was delivered by N.S. Rangaraju, Chairman of the Department of Archaeology and History, University of Mysore.

Drawing from his varied experience as an archaeologist and conservation specialist, Prof. Rangaraju addressed students and infused the concept of museum as a cultural centre. He referred to the findings of Kautilya’s Arthashastra, which were discovered at the Oriental Research Institute by Shama Shastry. He dwelt at length on the importance of sculptures, coins and inscriptions in the understanding of history and culture of a nation.

Prof. Rangaraju said that despite the importance of museums, not many Indians cared to visit or accord importance to them, and regretted that “museology” or the science of museums had not evolved in the country despite the wealth of artefacts strewn all over.

“Museums should have there own architecture and ambience and not be confined to a dilapidated structure as is the case in the country,” he said while throwing light on the advancements in the display, improvisations in lighting and introduction of interactive features in museums in other parts of the world.

The attitude of the public was also summed up in his talk while referring to the defacement of monuments and structures and other forms of vandalism over which there is little control.

The organisers released a colourful bilingual brochure describing the features of RMNH.

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