Acting Consul-General of Thailand in Kolkata delivered speech as Chief Guest at valedictory session of Cluster of Museums’ Exhibition: “The Future of Museums: Recover and Reimagine” at Kolkata Centre for Creativity

Acting Consul-General of Thailand in Kolkata delivered speech as Chief Guest at valedictory session of Cluster of Museums’ Exhibition: “The Future of Museums: Recover and Reimagine” at Kolkata Centre for Creativity

วันที่นำเข้าข้อมูล 30 Nov 2021

วันที่ปรับปรุงข้อมูล 30 Nov 2021

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                     On 25 November 2021, Mr. Kasemsan Thongsiri, Acting Consul-General of Thailand in Kolkata, graced his presence as Chief Guest at the closing ceremony of Cluster of Museums’ Exhibition: “The Future of Museums: Recover and Reimagine”, which took place at Kolkata Centre for Creativity, between 19-25 November 2021, during the World Heritage Week, as announced by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Mr. Nutt Svasti-Salee, Consul, and local staff from the Royal Thai Consulate-General in Kolkata also joined the said event.

 

                     On this same occasion, Mr. Thongsiri was invited to deliver his speech at the valedictory session of the exhibition’s closing ceremony, during which he extended congratulations to the success of the event organisers. Throughout the one-week event, considerable knowledge had been disseminated and fruitful constructive exchanges made. This demonstrates India’s contribution in the areas of museum and exhibitions. As for Thailand, he recounted the history of Thai museums, the groundwork of which had been laid by successive Monarchs of the country. Starting from Wat Pho, His Majesty King Rama I transformed a temple into a repository of intricate Buddha statues from across all regions, a garden with pond where citizens could relax and learn knowledge about traditional Thai medicine from a vast selection of planted Thai medicinal herbs, as well as statues of hermits in 80 different traditional self-massaging postures. Later on, museums in Thailand evolved with Their Majesties King Rama IV and King Rama V’s initiatives in dedicating royal residences to store the royal collection of valuable objects and gifts received from foreign emissaries. Today’s National Museum of Thailand would be inaugurated under the auspices of His Majesty King Rama VII, who wanted to bring the royal collection to the public admiration. Moreover, the etymology of the Thai word for “museum” comes from a combination of 2 words of Magadh language, from Ancient India, “vividh” and “bhand”, meaning “various things”. This linguistic origin example illustrates well Thailand and India’s centuries-long shared cultural roots.

 

                     Apart from narrating the Thai museum history, the Chief Guest also discussed how Thai museums adapted themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic when mass gathering of people is restricted. Some museums have made virtual online tours of the museum possible, while others have adopted online educational approaches via social media. For instance, the National Museum of Thailand, under the Ministry of Culture, for instance, has opened its virtual tour, by which online visitors can simulate the actual walking tour from the front gate to the different halls and galleries inside. In the case of Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles, the museum team created Youtube video talk shows and virtual textile exhibition presentation programmes such as “Curator’s Corner”, organised “mobile exhibition services” to proactively reach out to the public in remote areas, and have museum experts participate in academic conferences and symposia to raise the museum’s visibility in select circles.

 

                     On his last note, the Acting Consul-General of Thailand informed the public audience about the on-going project to set up the Thai Gallery at Jorasanko Thakur Bari, Rabindra Bharati Museum, Kolkata, in order to house the Exhibition entitled “Tagore’s Visit to Siam: Prelude to the Modern-Day Chapter of Thai-Indian Relations”. The said project is the Royal Thai Consulate-General of Thailand in Kolkata’s local flagship project and part of the Royal Thai Government’s many initiatives to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the establishment of Thailand-India diplomatic relations in the year 2022. Through the exhibition, he Royal Thai Consulate-General aims to convey an important message on Thai-Indian relations about how Rabindranath Tagore’s short but significant visit to Siam revived awareness in our two countries’ shared cultural roots, and became a prelude to the many more enriched cultural ties up to the present days.

 

                     Finally, he concluded that, as Thailand and India are both rich in history, culture and heritage, both countries have been contributing significantly to shaping the world heritage, and thus marking the world history.

 

Royal Thai Consulate-General, Kolkata

30 November 2021

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