Indian art museums decaying for want of professional curators: official

March 23rd, 2009 - 7:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, March 23 (IANS) Indian art museums are decaying due to lack of professional curators and a training programme to groom more professionals is the need of the hour, an official of the ministry of culture said here Monday.
“Curating is a specialised discipline. But in India, we have only sectoral curators, meaning museum personnel became curators by virtue of their work experience. As a result, most art pieces are on the verge of destruction due to lack of proper preservation,” said Jawhar Sirkar, secretary of ministry of culture, in a written speech read out at an international symposium on Museums of Future.

“In fact, art museums start decaying from day one, due to these incompetent curators.”

“I strongly feel a formal training (degree or diploma) in curatorship should be started soon affiliated to a museum or gallery. The ministry of culture will extend all possible help if such a proposal is formulated and submitted to us,” he said.

“The flow of art pieces in Indian museums are falling every day. Besides purchasing art works, we should also encourage long-term loans and donations of such pieces to institutions - a practice common in western countries like America.”

“There are many families in India who have huge collections of modern or contemporary art, but want to bequeath them for proper preservation. The galleries and museums need to reach out to these families,” said Sirkar, who could not attend the meeting due to official engagements.

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