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Heritage Conservation and Promotion

International Museum Expo 2023

The City Palace Museum, Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation, Udaipur participated in the three-day International Museum Expo held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, from 18 to 20 May 2023. The event was organized by the Ministry of Culture to commemorate and celebrate International Museum Day. It was designed to initiate a holistic conversation on museums, to enable them to evolve as cultural centers that play a pivotal role in India's cultural diplomacy, in a year where India holds the G-20 Presidency, while also keeping the International Council on Museums' (ICOM) theme "Museums, Sustainability, and Well-Being" at its core. The inaugural session was presided over by the Hon'ble Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi.

Visitors to the expo could engage in a wide variety of ways, including Exhibition of star objects, Museum booths, Techno Mela, Conservation lab, Children's activities, Master classes, Panel discussions, Cultural programs. The City Palace Museum, Udaipur participated in the expo in a number of ways, including displaying a selection of its most prized objects, hosting a panel discussion on the theme of "Museums and Sustainability", Giving a presentation on the museum's conservation efforts and Conducting a workshop on museum education.

The museum was represented by a team including: Mr. Lakshyaraj Singh Mewar, Trustee, Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation, Dr. Mayank Gupta, Dr. Hansmukh Seth, Mr. Prashant Lohar, Ms. Anuja Mukherjee, Ms. Bhasha Shah and Ms. Chelsea Santos

Museum Booth: The City Palace Museum booth at the International Museum Expo 2023 was designed to provide visitors with an overview of the museum's history, collections, and conservation efforts. The booth was divided into three sections:

History and governance: This section highlighted the museum's history from palace to palace museum, its governance under the Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation, and the leadership of its Chairman and Managing Trustee, Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar, and Trustee, Mr. Lakshyaraj Singh Mewar.

Curatorship and exhibitions: This section showcased an overview of the curatorial projects that have been undertaken in the recent past, collection types, and interesting exhibitions to be awaited by audiences. Visitors could also participate in a free block printing activity on ecofriendly postcards.

Conservation: This section highlighted the museum's efforts to conserve and preserve its architecture, collections, and knowledge systems. Visitors could learn about the museum's in-house conservation laboratory and its national and international conservation projects, such as the Getty funded Project of Maps and Prints and the ongoing exhibition A Splendid Land - Paintings from Royal Udaipur showcased in the USA.

The booth was designed to be interactive and engaging, and it provided visitors with a valuable opportunity to learn more about the City Palace Museum and its commitment to conservation and education.

Conservation Stall: The Conservation Stall at the International Museum Expo 2023 showcased the initiatives of The City Palace Museum, especially the in-house conservation laboratory that is situated within the 450-year-old palace. The stall highlighted the efforts of the conservation team both within the laboratory and beyond, through visuals, texts, and interactions.

Visitors to the stall included both museum professionals and art enthusiasts. Museum professionals were interested in learning about the establishment of the laboratory within the historicalstructure and the kind of projects undertaken at the museum. The conservators, Ms. Anuja Mukherjee and Ms. Bhasha Shah, shared the planning and execution of the laboratory along with the challenges that were overcome and the various landmark projects completed. Visitors could take away detailed information on the same in the form of a laboratory brochure. They could also learn about the museum's policies with regards to preventive care and safeguarding of its collection on display and in storage, conservator-led training programmes for museum staff, or educational outreach activities undertaken for students and the general public.

To illustrate these discussions, a brief activity on care and safe handling was conducted, in which tips were shared through demonstration and a one-page handout. This activity was particularly well-received by art enthusiasts as the tips were easy to follow and useful for them to preserve their personal possessions.

In accordance with the theme of International Museum Day as well as the expo - 'Museums, Sustainability and Wellbeing' - the conservation team also showcased their film which was screened at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) 2021.

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