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Program for Conservation of Culture

Museum & the City Workshop

September 2019

 The Museums & the City Workshop, held at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) Museum in Mumbai in September 2019, explored how museums can create an expanded culture of civic life that represents and nurtures the diverse and plural sensibilities of those with whom they share space. The workshop, spanning three days, covered a variety of lenses through which we can view the museum: as a forum, a mechanism for cultural partnership, a platform versus a container, a cultural infrastructure, and more. 

Throughout the workshop, participants grappled with issues of museum management, patronage, and conservation. They looked for ways to develop strategies for effective curatorial practices and exchanging knowledge around museum practice and integration. During the panel that focused on the future of conservation, it became clear that one of the major barriers in the conservation movement in India is the misconception that conservation must focus on time and money without considering historical and contextual research. As such, the research aspects of conservation are very nascent, and the equipment to analyze works of art is very limited and expensive. Another barrier lies in the lack of expertise around the material sciences behind conservation, especially given the range of climate and environmental factors in different parts of the region.