‘If we don’t work together, we will see very dark times,’ says outgoing V&A director Martin Roth

3383088a7b5ec40c9b00fa7a23cd9c79_e65df94ab9df05ef01536e9f4b4a8e151024x682_quality99_o_1atk02vmdcrr4etqvt1l9ahflaAmerican and Chinese museum leaders gather in New York to discuss international co-operation

The Art Newspaper
by JULIA HALPERIN | 26 September 2016

Dozens of museum leaders from the US and China are gathering in New York this week to compare notes and brainstorm ways to promote cultural exchange between their two nations. The US-China Museum Summit, which kicks off today (until 28 September), is the third biannual meeting between the two groups and is co-organsed by the American Federation of Arts (AFA) and the Asia Society.

As the speakers at the summit revealed, cultural exchange is much easier said than done. In recent years, practical challenges, including costs, cultural differences and language barriers, have limited exhibition sharing between China and the US. A “marketplace” for exhibitions ready to travel between the US and China, first proposed in 2014, has proven difficult to get off the ground.

Meanwhile, the number of museums in China has exploded—and so has their appetite for travelling shows. Between 2011 and 2013, an average of one museum per day opened in the country, according to Pauline Willis, the director of the AFA. By 2020, China is expected to be home to 6,000 museums.

The V&A is one of the few Western institutions to develop a long-term partnership with a museum in China. In 2017, the V&A will open a gallery inside the Shekou Design Museum in Shenzhen. But this kind of collaboration was not easy to pull off, said Martin Roth, the outgoing director of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. In his keynote address, Roth recounted small cultural misunderstandings that he encountered early on in his relationships with Chinese museums. “Do you go left or right entering an exhibition? Is red a lucky colour or a communist colour?” he asked. Continue reading

Efforts for archaeological tourism’s revival pledged


MINGORA: Culture activists and archaeologists here on Saturday pledged to make joint efforts for the revival and promotion of archaeological tourism in the region.

They were speaking during a seminar on Sustainable Archaeological Tourism and Role of Local Communities in Heritage Conservation at Swat Museum, Saidu Sharif.

The event was jointly organised by the Sustainable Tourism Foundation Pakistan, Archaeology Tourism Project and department of archaeology in museums with the support of Suvastu Arts and Culture Association, and Swat Archaeological Guides Association.

Civil society members, culture activists, officials of tourism department, and representatives of hotel industry, archeologists and media showed up in large numbers.

Experts say cultural, archaeological tourism a major source of foreign exchange
Aftab Rana, president of Sustainable Tourism Foundation in Pakistan, said the seminar was organised to create public awareness of sustainable archaeological tourism in Swat valley and to discuss the role of stakeholders, especially in the conservation of archaeological heritage in Swat, which was a great tourist attraction in KP.

He said sustainable tourism meant to respect local culture and avoid and damage or harm to local archaeological sites and not to spread any pollutant thing at the site.

“Majority of visitors to Swat seems to be unaware of the rich culture and archaeological heritage, so we want to promote archaeological tourism by initiating an off-season tourism and create recourses of earning to the communities living closer to the archaeological sites,” he said.

Massimo Vidale, a professor of archaeology at the University of Padova, Italy, who has been busy with excavation under the Italian archeological mission in Swat since 2000, said he was proud to be part of the Archaeological Community Tourism project with the involvement of local community in archeology in Swat. Continue reading

Trowulan Reclining Buddha Statue Attracts 1,000 Visitors

541776_620SUNDAY, 25 SEPTEMBER, 2016 | 16:50 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – The number of tourists visiting the huge reclining Buddha statue in Trowulan, Mojokerto, East Java, reaches 1,000 visitors every weekend.

Arianto, one of the officers in charge of the site, said that the statue, dubbed as the biggest Buddha statue in Indonesia, is only frequented by Buddhists but also by the general public.

“This site is open for the general public,” he said on Sunday (25/9).

The entrance fee is also not expensive.

Ari added that to enter the site and see the statue, visitors are charged with only Rp 2,000.

Initially, he added, the statue was built for Buddhist for religious activities. However, as time went by, the statue now becomes a tourist destination with good potentials.

“Because many tourists came here, in 2012, it was inaugurated as a tourist destination,” Arianto added.

The history of the statue began with reclusion done by a Buddhist monk named Viriyanadi Mahatera. In his reclusion, the monk received a guidance to build a Buddhist temple.

However, with the majority of the locals are non-Buddhist, the monk struggled to get permission from the locals. Eventually, the statue was built in 1990.

The statue is 22 meters long, 6 meters wide and 4.5 meters in height.

In 2001, it was recorded by the Indonesian Museum of Records (MURI) as the biggest Buddha statue in Indonesia.

It is also the third biggest Buddha statue in South East Asia.



Naropa 2016: Huge Buddha Amitabha scroll (Thanga) unveiled

huge-buddha-scrollSource: Newzstreet Media Desk
Tue,20 Sep 2016

Summary: The thanka has been unveiled to mark the 1000 years of Naropa, the Buddhist scholar-saint. The 70 feet by 40 feet silk thanka has been gifted to the Hemis monastery by His Eminence Gyarawa Rinpoche of Taiwan where traditional artists made it by hand. The massive Buddhist scroll has painting of Sakyamuni Gautama Buddha.

HEMIS (Ladakh): The largest ‘thanka’ or scroll painting of Buddha Amitabha in the Himalayan region was unveiled on Sept 19 by His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa at Naro Palace, the venue of the Naropa Festival 2016.

The unveiling ceremony was done in the presence of thousands of monks, nuns and followers of the Drukpa Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism amid chanting of mantras, prayers and dance by monks. The thanka has been unveiled to mark the 1000 years of Naropa, the Buddhist scholar-saint.

The 70 feet by 40 feet silk thanka has been gifted to the Hemis monastery by His Eminence Gyarawa Rinpoche of Taiwan where traditional artists made it by hand.

The massive Buddhist scroll has painting of Sakyamuni Gautama Buddha. The scroll also has images of Manjushri, Padmasambhava, Vajrapani and Avalokiteshwara and other Buddhist gurus. The thanka has a very special religious significance. It is exhibited on special auspicious occasions. It is believed that anyone praying to Buddha Amitabha earns merits that ensures rebirth in “sukhavati’ or land of the pure.


Conservation of historic Buddhist site delayed

Structures of Ban Faqiran atop Margalla Hills eroding away. PHOTO: FILE

Structures of Ban Faqiran atop Margalla Hills eroding away. PHOTO: FILE


By APP Published: September 26, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Conservation work at the Buddhist site `Ban Faqiran’ atop Margalla Hills in the federal capital has still not started owing to negligence of the concerned authorities.

According to an official source, excavation work on the site of 2,000 year-old `Ban Faqiran’ was completed in March and the Department of Archaeology and Museums (DOAM) was supposed to start conservation process. The source, added that various important archaeological sites in the capital including `Sarai Kharbuza’ and others are eroding away after being exposed to natural elements and damage by locals and lack of preservation efforts undertaken by the authorities.

The sites, after excavation, require conservation measures by experts from time to time and its preservation is supposed to continue on a regular basis in order to save the heritage site.

Excavation of the fourth heritage site of `Ban Faqiran’ in the capital was the first field activity undertaken by DOAM after the 18th amendment was passed. Antiquities excavated from the site were housed in a museum for further research, imparting education, promoting tourism and providing recreation to visitors.

The objective of this project, worth Rs2 million, was to reconstruct the ancient cultural profile, establish antiquities and explore, excavate and preserve potential archaeological sites in the federal capital, the source added.

Funds for excavation and preservation of this Buddhist site had been provided by the National Fund for Cultural Heritage (NFCH) in April 2015 and excavation work began in August 2015.

One large stupa-like square structure, measuring 10.26m a side, was excavated on top of the Margalla Hills. The structure was made out of lime and Kanjur stone, with semi-ashlar and masonry dating back from the second to the fourth century Common Era (CE). Furthermore, archaeologists recovered six coins and four iron arrowheads from the Buddhist site in what was at the time termed a major find.

A water tank and a mosque was also discovered at the site.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 26th, 2016.



unnamedWednesday, September 28 @ 7:30 pm
Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University
Ackerman Hall, Level Three

In the Western world, buddhas and bodhisattvas are frequently used as carriers for advertising luxury goods, as objets d’art, and as body ornaments. In a lecture titled Buddha in a Shopping Bag, Martin Brauen, chief curator emeritus at the Rubin Museum of Art, explores such uses of sacred Buddhist images and ways in which contemporary artists are depicting and transforming Buddhist symbols.

This program is held in conjunction with the exhibition Family Album: New Work by Gonkar Gyatso in Collaboration with Photographer Zhadui. It is free and open to the Emory community and the public.

Parking is available at the Oxford Road and Fishburne Decks. On weekdays before 4:00 pm, accessible parking is available in the Oxford Road parking deck. Enter the Oxford Road building and take the elevator to top (Plaza) Level, and follow the accessible route path markers to the rear (Plaza Level) entrance of the museum. On weekends and after 4:00 pm daily, handicap accessible parking spaces are available on South Kilgo Circle, adjacent to the rear (Plaza Level) entrance to the museum. A government-issued hangtag must be displayed. Click here for a printable Emory parking map and accessible route to museum from Oxford Deck.

Outgoing Pakistani diplomat helped promote Buddhist ties between Pakistan and Sri Lanka

New Indian Express

By P.K.Balachandran | Express News Service Published: 21st September 2016

COLOMBO: Pakistani diplomat Muhammad Daud Ehtisham ,who is leaving Sri Lanka after six years of dedicated service to the promotion of cultural ties between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, will stand out for assiduously promoting Buddhism as a bridge between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Until Ehtisham took over as Press Attache of the Pakistan High Commission six years ago, Pakistan’s relations with the island nation was primarily military in nature with Pakistan being one of the main suppliers of arms to the Sri Lankan military then fighting the Tamil Tiger terrorists.

At one stage, some efforts were made to add an economic dimension, trade and investment, to the ties. But cultural exchanges and promotion of common cultural interests were nowhere in the picture till after the end of Eelam War IV in 2009.

The restoration of peace helped the then High Commissioner, Seema Baloch, to re-discover and bring into the public domain, Pakistan’s ancient links with Buddhism, the religion of the majority in Sri Lanka. Baloch left the execution of the ambitious new project in the able hands of Daud Ehrisham, who while being Press Attache, also functioned as the principal cultural oficionado in the Pakistan High Commission.

His passion for culture and the arts stood him in good stead in projecting Pakistan as a culturally diverse and tolerant country in the face of portrayals to the contrary in the media.

An ardent collector of Buddhist art and artifacts, Ehtisham organized exhibitions and visits of scholars and monks to Buddhist sites in Taxila (ancient Gandhara) and helped bring the relics of the Buddha from Gandhara for a month long exposition in Sri Lanka which attracted more than nine million devotees. In 2011 he brought down Pakistan’s Director of Archeology Dr.Fazal Dad Kakar for a visit to Sri Lanka. Continue reading