Museums have a proactive role

COLOURFUL TOUCH: Students participating at the painting competition. PHOTO: S. JAMES  

Staff Reporter

MADURAI: Museums had a proactive role to play in igniting creative temper in the young minds, R. Kannan, Special Commissioner, Department of Museums, said here on Wednesday.

Addressing the prize-distribution function of the Children's Day painting competitions organised by the Government Museum and Gandhi Memorial Museum, he said that from the passive state of exhibiting things of antique value, museums had come a long way to provide meaningful interaction among the visitors.

From providing orientation on the collections, the museums had moved on to a different platform by adding educational value to them, he said. Museums had come forward to chalk out different ways to attract more visitors to it, he added.

The museums had also devised outreach programmes through which they could get a good number of visitors. As part of add-on activity, the Madurai museum, aided by private initiative, had organised many competitions for schoolstudents, Mr. Kannan said. In Chennai, the Government Museum organised a national manuscript protection camp in which it attracted curators of museums and got them familiarised with some sophisticated technologies to protect manuscripts, he said.

A. Kanagasabapathi, secretary, Gandhi Memorial Museum, emphasised the need to organise such painting competitions to enhance the creative faculty of students.

The painting competitions were conducted on November 29 and 30 in five categories -- L.K.G. to Standard I, II to IV, V to VII, VIII to X, XI and XII.

Kirloshkumar, Project Officer, District Rural Development Agency, R. Venkataraman, former Professor, Department of Art and History, Madurai Kamaraj University, and P. Sam Sathiaraj, Curator, Government Museum, took part.