‘Banking on World Heritage’ Inaugurated at IGNCA, New Delhi

Banking on World Heritage: First of its kind exhibition ‘Banking on World Heritage’ was Inaugurated at IGNCA, New Delhi by the Minister of Culture and External Affairs, Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi on Friday 30th June.

The exhibition displays banknotes of G20 member nations, depicting world heritage sites listed by UNESCO, in a unique manner. The exhibition will be on display till Sunday, July 9th 2023. The exhibition has been curated by the scholar Ms. Rukmini Dahanukar. The inauguration was attended by High Commissioners and Ambassadors of G20 Countries.

On this occasion, Minister of Culture and External Affairs, Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi said if the world has to progress and humanity has to survive then Indian way is the way forward and that way is ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ . The exhibition has been organised in the spirit of Vasudaiva Kutumbakam.

The Minister said that the exhibition will help to connect the youth, who are mostly engaged on the digital platform, to their heritage through the physical currency notes. The depiction of Heritage sites adds to the intrinsic value of currency notes, she added.

She further remarked that the G20 countries have 70 percent of declared Heritage of the world and the exhibition brings out the collective effort of these countries to preserve and conserve Heritage and to connect the current generation to the greatness of their past.

To commemorate the ongoing celebrations under India’s presidency of the G-20 Summit, the exhibition focuses on banknotes of the member nations. It is also a special occasion that coincides with the celebration of India’s 75th year of independence along with UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention’s 50th year. The theme proposed, “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or “One Earth One Family One Future” perfectly matches the “Outstanding Universal Values of World Heritage.”

Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts also plans to publish a souvenir. This souvenir will be of value to scholars and visitors to the exhibition. Apart from this, it will also create awareness about the World Heritage Sites of different civilizations. It will provide an opportunity for exchange of ideas between scholars and researchers from different countries. It is the first time that banknotes depicting UNESCO World Heritage Sites around the world have been presented and commemorated in such a unique way.

Ms. Rukmini Dahanukar the curator of the exhibition said that this exhibition will educate the millennial and youngsters about their culture and heritage through bank notes. The bank notes in our country have 17 languages of India, which reflects inclusivity and unity in diversity. She further added in this context that everything is Make in India and everything is projection of India which is being reflected in this exhibition. She remarked that this exhibition showcases connection of humanity and culture through banknotes.

Interestingly, the member countries have issued currencies that are one of the most effective ways to depict grand monuments of our history for educating the society about their importance.

The coins are invaluable source of reconstructing ancient Indian history. They depict the glorious history of our past. In many cases, they tell us about the reigning period of kings, the economy of kingdoms, the extent of empires and about trade during that period. They also throw light on the art and religion of the period to which they belong. To complement the exhibition, IGNCA also organized a panel discussion on the subject.