Tue, 19 Jan 2021

Culture is of great use during crisis: PM Modi

29 Nov 2020, 16:37 GMT+10

New Delhi [India], November 29 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday emphasised on the use of technology in conserving heritage and also said that culture is of great use in times of crisis and plays an important role in overcoming it.

Addressing the nation in the 71st edition of his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat', he said that people celebrated the heritage week in innovative ways during times of coronavirus.

"A few days back, we celebrated World Heritage Week... Despite coronavirus, we witnessed people celebrating the heritage week in innovative ways. Culture is of great use in times of crisis, it plays an important role in overcoming it. Through technology, culture acts as an emotional recharge. Today, a lot of museums and libraries in the country are working to make their collection fully digital," he said.

"New Delhi's National Museum is working to introduce 10 virtual galleries. Now you will be able to take a tour of these galleries from your home. While it is important to take our cultural heritage to people in a big way through technology, the role of technology is an important role in conserving the heritage," he said.

Speaking further, he said: "There is an island named Svalbard in the north of Norway. A project, Arctic World Achieve has been set up on this island. Invaluable heritage data has been stored in this archive in such a manner that no natural or manmade disaster can affect it... The heritage of Ajanta Caves is also being digitised and preserved in this project."The Prime Minister also informed that an ancient idol of Devi Annapurna, which was stolen decades ago is being brought back from Canada.

"I want to share some good news with you today. Every Indian will be proud to know that an ancient idol of Devi Annapurna is being brought back from Canada. Almost 100 years ago in 1913, the idol was stolen from a temple in Varanasi and was smuggled out of the country. I am grateful to the Canadian government and others who helped in accomplishing this noble mission," he said.

"Mata Annapurna has a special connect with Varanasi. The return of idol is a matter of great pleasure for all of us. Like Mata Annapurna's idol, several other precious jewels of our heritage have been targeted by international gangs. These gangs sell them at exorbitant prices in international markets," he said.

The Prime Minister said that the government is taking strong steps against such smuggling.

"Now not only strong steps have been taken to stop this India has also stepped up efforts to bring back these artefacts. Due to these efforts, India has been able to get back several idols and artefacts. There is a coincidence associated with the return of Mata Annapurna's idol that a few days back we celebrated World Heritage Week," he said. (ANI)

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