Jensen says museums become modern strongholds of ancient heritage
Kolly says Switzerland to support promotion of diversity, tolerance
TAXILA: With the financial support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the UNESCO-designed project completed here at the Taxila Museum, a home to a significant and comprehensive collection of the Gandharan art dating from the first to the seventh centuries CE.
The one-and-a-half year project was broken down into three components; museum staff were trained and capacitated to develop a digital inventory of the artefacts; the educational role of the museum was improved by developing a web application with QR codes that allow visitors to engage with the artefacts safely and securely and the project also trained teachers to educate students about the Gandharan civilizations, and encourage them to become ambassadors of cultural heritage.
The museum, which was subject to disappearing artefacts and a lack of informational plaques next to display cases, now hosts digital kiosks that anyone with an Android-enabled phone can easily access and download (now available through Google Play store). The online application will provide a new platform that can serve as a learning opportunity for children and adults alike.
Besides senior government officials, the closing event was attended by development partners, members of civil society, academics, teachers and schoolchildren. UNESCO Pakistan Director Vibeke Jensen said that the cultural heritage was not only protected but that museums and their collections were brought into the 21st century through creative means that redefine them as modern strongholds of ancient heritage.
Swiss Ambassador Thomas Kolly expressed Switzerland’s commitment to the protection and preservation of culture and art, and how effective contributions can be made towards promoting diversity, tolerance, and peace. “This museum reflects a rich history and varied achievements of the people of Taxila during the last four thousand years.”
The event concluded with the ceremonial handing over of equipment to several other national museums, including the National Museum of Karachi, Hund Museum, Chitral Museum, Kasur Museum, Harappa Museum and the Islamabad Museum.