The International Museum Expo (IME) held from 18th to 20th May 2023 was the first expo of its kind held in India. The three-day expo saw stalwarts from art and culture, museum, education, architecture and more come together to talk about museums and their importance. A series of panel discussions were conducted throughout the expo, and many interesting and engaging conversations took place. The theme of International Museum Expo corresponded to the ICOM theme for International Museums Day 2023 – ‘Museums, Sustainability, and Well Being’.
Art Collections at Display
The expo was a great opportunity for museum professionals and lovers to engage and exchange ideas. The event not only saw attendance from museums across the country and even from Russia but also included museum technology platforms and conservation specialists, including conservation departments from various museums such as Salarjung Museum, Hyderabad, Allahabad Museum, and many more were present. It was truly a treat for museum and heritage aficionados to get a glimpse of the collections of state museums such as that of Assam, Lucknow, Mizoram and National Philatelic Museum, National Police Museum, Rotary Dolls Museum and others all in one place.
Engagement Activities for Visitors
Some of the highlights of the event included the unveiling of the ‘Dancing Girl’ as the official mascot of the event in a reimagined and Channapatna style. It was a delight to have the mascot inspired by the traditional arts of India. Panel discussions on a variety of topics and engagement with scholars and museum professionals provided an excellent platform for the exchange of ideas and knowledge.
Aside from learning about museums and historic artefacts, some unique workshops were also organised. The art corner of the expo was a big hit with adults and kids. The Daak Room presented a unique interactive project wherein each individual got to paint one box of a huge panel size replica of S.H. Raza’s ‘The Bindu’ painting. It was interesting to see adults and kids lining up to paint one by one. Another corner had people writing postcards, while a third one had people getting their caricatures done and their names written in a beautiful calligraphic style. The ASI set up a unique excavation experience for kids with an onsite ‘dig’. Students were seen enthusiastically participating in all the activities.
The event had both an academic and a fun side to it, which made it enjoyable for all visitors. While it talked about serious issues about museums, it also showed ways in which visits to museums and learning about the arts & heritage can be made fun. Photo booths, hands-on activities, and demonstrations played an important role in the event and can be credited for its success.