‘Antiquarians should donate collection for educational purposes’
   Date :19-May-2024

Mayuresh Khadke
By Shirish Borkar :
MUSEUMS are the mirrors of our civilisation, culture and traditions. The artefacts displayed in museum galleries like ancient manuscripts, copper plates, stone inscriptions, sculptures, coins, paintings, weapons and dresses in galleries give glimpse about our history and traditions to the younger generations. Moreover, museums provide opportunities to students for further research work on vivid topics based on the exciting exhibits. Historical, archaeological, anthropological, natural history, war and nautical museums usually stimulate curiosity among the students and create a positive attitude in them towards learning and understanding the diverse and complex issues of the past, besides helping them to live in a democratic society. Archaeological treasure like epigraphical and numismatic evidence in the form of antiquities, too, provide them a captivating glimpse into the history, culture and governance of civilisations. This year’s theme for the celebrations on International Museum Day (IMD) 2024 is ‘Museums for Education and Research.’ Interacting with ‘The Hitavada’ on the occasion, Mayuresh Khadke, Curator of Central Museum and Assistant Director of Archaeology, Directorate of Archaeology & Museums, Government of Maharashtra, said, “Museums play a crucial role in preserving our cultural heritage and are the major institutions in promoting collective identity, respect, and tolerance towards other cultures.”
A triple post-graduate in Archaeology, History and Liberal Arts, Khadke, who also holds an expertise in Museum Studies, said that objective of International Museum Day is to create an awareness among the people that museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples. “Museums are institutions and are an important part of society as they play a vital role in preserving and showcasing the history, culture, and art of a community” he added. Khadke, who supervised excavations at Sakaleshwar Temple, Ambejogai, Koloshi, Paranda Fort and participated in excavations at Kandhar and Udgir Forts, informed that museum movement began India in 1814 with the establishment of Indian Museum in Kolkata under the supervision of the Asiatic Society.
Prior to Independence, he said, it was known as the Imperial Museum. It is the ninth oldest museum in the world, he added. Khadke further informed that there are 13 museums under the Maharashtra Government. Approximately, there are 389 other museums, mostly private museums, across the State, he added. He said, Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum is the oldest museum in Maharashtra. The Nagpur Central Museum established in 1863, he said, is the second oldest museum in the State. It holds important artefacts such as dinosaur fossils, coins, ancient inscriptions, sculptures, arms, tribal art and craft from per-historic to modern times, he added. “We guide the students visiting the museum and also encourage them to take-up research work on the antiquities,” Khadke said, adding that “More and more antiquarians should come forward and donate their collections to the museum for the educational purpose of our young minds instead of dumping them at their homes or selling outside. n