Our heritage is important not because it is old, but its intrinsic quality is significant, and it is ‘ours’. But it is always a puzzle why the general public is not taking serious interest in what exists before us, many of them extraordinary by any standards. Suppose when one goes to London, the visit would definitely include the British museum. In New York, the visit would not be considered complete without spending time in the Museum of National History and the Statue of Liberty, to name only a few. Can we ask ourselves why we in Chennai do not visit our own museums, art galleries and heritage sites regularly?
Prof. Swaminathan, founder of Tamil Heritage Trust (THT) attributes this to the absence of intellectual stimulation as one of the reasons. He says that 'An interesting, but truthful presentation of our masterpieces bringing out its artistic and other aspects has not been the strong feature'
It is with such an objective that THT created this program 'How to See A Museum'. The 2-day program is a serious attempt to sensitize the public towards appreciating some of our outstanding galleries in Madras Museum in Egmore. Day 1 of the workshop consists of detailed lectures on the Amaravati gallery, the Bronze gallery, the Stone Sculpture gallery, the Coins gallery, and the section on copper plates. Each of these lectures dwells on select masterpieces from these galleries, and an appreciation of their art/history. Day 2 of the workshop is a full-day field visit at the Madras Museum. Participants are taken through all the galleries described in the lectures, and are given an opportunity to witness first-hand the treasures that are housed in the museum.