Foreign help for Kerala archives

Last Updated: Mar 19, 2011, 11:18 AM IST

New Delhi: AusHeritage, Australia`s international cultural heritage network and Kerala`s Institute for Management in Government, will Saturday collaborate on a day-long training forum for museums in Kerala.

The focus of the workshop will be to equip museum staff to manage major risks to cultural collections, a statement released by the Australian high commission said Friday.

The topics covered will include minimising damage to Kerala`s cultural collections from insects, disasters and during transport. The forum will be held at Kerala`s Institute for Management and Government in Thiruvananthapuram.

The Australian delegation includes the chairman of AusHeritage Vinod Daniel and conservation expert Catherine Millikan.

K. Jeyakumar, additional chief secretary for home and vigilance for Kerala and former joint secretary in the ministry for culture will be the chief guest.

"Capacity building in museums is a critical aspect all over the world and I am delighted that this forum will enable knowledge transfer to better preserve our collective heritage," said Vinod Daniel, chairman of AusHeritage.

According to Daniel, the tropical climate, which encourages insects, is a big stumbling block in the conservation of Kerala`s tangible cultural heritage, says a prominent Australian conservationist of Indian origin who is against the use of chemicals to kills pests in museums.

Australia`s high commissioner to India, Peter Varghese, said he was "delighted that the Australian government was able to support this important forum in Kerala, a state with such rich cultural heritage".

Manoj Kumar, director of the Institute for Management in Government, said he would be keen to produce a monograph of the workshop both in English and Malayalam so that all museums in Kerala can benefit for this workshop.

V Venu, secretary of culture and tourism, was very supportive of the forum.

IANS