Ministry of Culture and The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) in 2013 signed an agreement under which they had launched the Indian Conservation Fellowship Pilot Programme, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and the Stichtung Restauratie Atelier Limburg (SRAL) in the Netherlands.
Given the success of the pilot project, the Culture Ministry and the museum decided to extend the programme for five more years till 2021. Under this agreement The MET will work with the Ministry of Culture to impart a broad range of knowledge on modern operations of museums like conservation and planning of exhibitions.
The programme provided avenues for Indian art conservators to pursue advanced training opportunities in North America and Europe, and to develop broader ties with their colleagues abroad.
India's Consul General Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das welcomed the initiative and expressed hope that the collaboration would continue to be mutually beneficial and help Indian conservationists to adopt scientific western methods of conservation and management.
The pilot programme was designed to broaden the experience of emerging conservators and to establish a larger and stronger conservation community in India with international links to professionals in the field. A total of 16 fellowships of approximately 3-6 months each was sponsored by the Metropolitan Museum, SRAL, and the Ministry of Culture between 2013 and 2015.
The Met is one of the world's largest and finest museums, with collections spanning more than 5,000 years of world culture, from prehistory to the present and from every part of the globe.
It has been named the world's number one museum in the TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice awards for the second sequential year. The Met said it had record attendance in 2015 and 2016, with its annual visitor numbers recently topping 6.7 million.
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