Accessibility in museums, emerging experiences in community and audience engagement, the role of regional museums in fostering local development, and the uses of technology in museums were among the key issues addressed at the 7th ASEMUS General Conference: Engaged Museums: Technology, Access and New Audiences in New Delhi, India. “Given the rich fabric of national, regional and local museums in India, it is fitting that this year’s theme will focus on audience engagement and access, and the potential of technological advances to assist in this,” said Ms Fionnuala CROKE, Director, Chester Beatty Library (Dublin, Ireland) & Chair, ASEMUS Executive Committee.
The Conference was hosted in India for the first time, at the National Museum – New Delhi, which joined ASEMUS in 2014. ““National Museum is the premier museum of India housing over 200,000 objects of art representing 5000 years of Indian art…As the National Museum, it is very much our duty to set examples and undertake initiatives that inspire not only other national museums but also our regional museums,” says Dr B. R. Mani, Director General, National Museum – New Delhi.
Over 75 including museum directors, curators, educators, artists, scholars and representatives of UNESCO and ICOM joined the discussions on 16 March. The discussions were preceded by a day of training on social media and curation for young museum professionals on 15 March.
ASEF supported the organisation of 2 policy panels at the Conference: one on Engaging with Regional Culture & Heritage: What Role for Regional Museums? & the other on Towards a Culture of Accessibility in our Museums: Good Practices & Challenges. In addition, mobility support was also extended to young museum professionals and heritage experts.
A report of the General Conference is available on the ASEMUS website: http://asemus.museum/meeting/engaged-museums-report-7th-asemus-general-conference-delhi/
The next ASEMUS General Conference will take place in November 2018 in Sarawak, Kuching, Malaysia and will be hosted by the Sarawak State Museum.
Set up in 2001, the Asia-Europe Museum Network (ASEMUS) is a network of museums with Asian collections. It now gathers over 140 museums in 41 countries in Asia and Europe.
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