Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India & Chair of the SCO Council of Heads of Government in 2020, launched the first ever SCO Online Exhibition on Shared Buddhist Heritage, during the 19th Meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of Government (SCO CHG), held on November 30 in New Delhi, in videoconference format.
This SCO online International exhibition, first ever of its kind, is developed and curated by National Museum, New Delhi, in active collaboration with SCO member countries. The exhibition deploys state of the art technologies like 3D scanning, webGL platform, virtual space utilization, innovative curation and narration methodology etc.
The exhibition can be accessed at https://nmvirtual.in/ for worldwide viewing.
Buddhist philosophy and art of Central Asia connects Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) countries to each other. This online international exhibition presents an excellent opportunity for visitors to access, appreciate and compare Buddhist art antiquities from SCO countries on a single platform and from the comfort of their home. Such transnational online exhibition also has potential to connect, heal and rejuvenate communities in current pandemic times.
The international exhibition gives a glimpse of the artistic wealth displayed in various museums across Asia, and represents the artistic excellence embedded within an eclectic historical timeline spanning across the development of different Schools of Buddhism.
The participating institutions are National Museum (New Delhi), Indian Museum (Kolkata), National Museum of Kazakhstan, Dun Huang Academy (China), National Historical Museum of the Kyrgyz Republic, Museums of Pakistan, State Museum of Oriental Art, Moscow (Russia), National Museum and National Museum of Antiquities, Tajikistan and renowned archaeological sites of Uzbekistan.
The visitors can explore theIndian Buddhist treasures from the Gandharaand Mathura Schools, Nalanda, Amaravati, Sarnathetc. in a 3D virtual format.ThePakistan hall depicts the life of Gautama Buddha and Buddhist Art through a collection of impressive Gandharaart objects from Karachi, Lahore,Taxlia, Islamabad, SWAT and Peshawar museums. These include fasting Siddhartha and footprint of Buddha from Sikri, meditating Buddha from SahriBahloi, miracle of Sravasti from Gandhara etc.
Over 100 objects from State Oriental Art Museum, Moscow, depict the Buddhist Buriyat Art of Russia through icons, ritual objects, monastery traditions etc. The Dunhuang Academy of China contributed a rich digital collection on Buddhist Art from Dunhunag that include ingeniousarchitecture, resplendent murals, decorative designs, costumes etc.
The marvels of Buddhist art from ancient Termez, Karatepa, Fayaztepa heritage sites can be seen in the Uzbekistan hall. The exhibition also showcases rare Buddhist art objects from various heritage sites and museums of Kazakhstan and Kyrygstan. The prime attraction of Tajikistan hall is the 13 meter long reclining – ‘Buddha in Nirvana’ from Ajina-Tepa.
National Museum, New Delhi has unfolded a new dimension in museum experiences by developing this online 3D virtual exhibition. The Prime Minister of India, in his Maan Ki Baat session on 29.11.2020, has lauded National Museum, New Delhi for its innovative efforts of using technology in cultural sector.