The United Kingdom government on Tuesday announced a £1.5 million fund for artists, cultural organisations and Indian museums to help promote cultural exchanges between the two countries. ]
The UK Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Sajid Javid, who is currently visiting Kolkata, said the funds will strengthen the India-UK relationship and give a huge push to the Indian museum movement.
“UK is a world leader in museum management. We like to share our experience with many countries around the world. India-UK relationship is hugely important and cultural exchange is a big part of it. There’s already cooperation going on, but I want to see more. The fund has been set up to see what more we can do,” said Javid following a roundtable discussion, jointly organised by the British Council and National Library here.
The funds, set to give the museum movement a facelift, will come under the project ‘Re-Imagine India’, launched by the Arts Council of England. There is also a commitment from the British Council for another £5 million for the ‘Re-Imagine Arts’ programme from 2013-17.
While there are 2,500 museums in UK, India has only over 800.
“We are lagging behind. Indian museums can’t be compared with those in UK and the US. Museum movement is one area which hasn’t been given much importance, before and after Independence,” Sabyasachi Mukherjee, director of CSVMS (Prince of Wales Museum in Mumbai), said.