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Sikh heritage discussed at Pakistan museum conference

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LAHORE – The three day International Heritage and Museum Conference yesterday ended on the note of utilising the potential of heritage sites and museums in Pakistan and possible joint ventures to save the heritage.

The last day included practical workshops for the participants on photographing, visual documentation and digital story telling techniques.
A large number of people attended three day conference.
There were 20 foreign delegates and 40 national experts who participated in the conference.

The conference was held by the Walled City of Lahore Authority in collaboration with the British Council in Pakistan.

British Council Director Kevin McLaven said that the first joint venture with the Walled City of Lahore Authority went successful.“We had a good and interactive audience on all the days of the conference and this shows how much interest the younger lot is taking in heritage and museums of Pakistan. It was an informative conference and we got to know many new things.”

The members of the first International Heritage and Museum Conference in Lahore were taken to the Smadhi of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh for a tour on the second day of the conference. The members had many Sikh delegates. Jasdeep Singh of National Army Museum Chelsea told The Nation that his tour to the museums showed him how well kept is the Sikh religious places in Pakistan. “Visiting this site was a pleasure for me as I belong to this community.
In my opinion Sikh tourism must be promoted here so that more and more Yatrees can benefit by visiting this place,” he added.

Friederike Voigt of National Museums Scotland said that her research paper was on the subject of faith and heritage with great emphasis on Sikh Heritage. She was also among delegation who visited the Sikh Museum in Lahore Fort. “This place was of great information to me and I liked the way the tourist guides had described it to all the delegates,” Voigt told The Nation.

WCLA Director General Kamran Lashari said that they wanted to showcase the religious harmony in Pakistan and this was the best example where we have a mosque next to smadhi. He hoped that the visits of foreign delegates to the heritage sites of Lahore will shed away the negative and rigid image of Pakistan.

Rebecca Bridgman of Birmingham Museums commented that she sees a lot of potential for museums in Pakistan and she really enjoyed the visits to the heritage sites, “I hope these are preserved more effectively.”

Joanne Orr of Museums and Galleries Scotland, addressing panel discussion, said that her experience coming to Pakistan was great. “I had not known that Pakistan is such a rich country in terms of museums and heritage.”

Published in The Nation newspaper on 04-Sep-2016

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