Exhibition on ‘Banking on World Heritage’ has been organized in the spirit of ‘Vasudaiva Kutumbakam’- Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi

New Delhi: Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Smt. Lekhi inaugurated the exhibition ‘Banking on World Heritage’ at Darshanam gallery of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. This exhibition will showcase Banknotes of G-20 Member Nations depicting UNESCO listed World Heritage Sites. The exhibition is curated by Ms. Rukmini Dahanukar, an independent scholar and founder of ‘Money Talks’. The exhibition is organized under the chairmanship of India as part of the ongoing G-20 Summit celebrations and will run till July 9. On the occasion of the inauguration, Dr. Sachchidanand Joshi, Member Secretary, IGNCA, Dr. Priyanka Mishra, Director (Administration), Dr. Sanjay Jha, Archivist, officials from some countries and other dignitaries were present.

A panel discussion was also organized after the inaugural program and the panelist of the discussion were Mr. Sudhakar Kazar, Former Managing Director, Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Ltd., Prof. Poonam Munjal, NCAER, Sri Ashish Chandra, Country Director, De La Rue India Private Limited, Mr. Anand Kothari, Archaeologist & Numismatics and Ms. Rukamini Dahunkar, Curator of the exhibition. The chief guest of the discussion was Smt. Saryu V. Doshi, Trustee of IGNCA and eminent art scholar, art historian and educationist. They all expressed their views on the subject.


Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi while speaking at the occasion said after inaugurating the exhibition that, “Everyday of my life I feel it’s worth living because I learn something new each and every day. Exposure to something like currency notes is very different and I had fun collecting it and this perspective on currency notes is very different and new.” She further added through currency notes we learn about the history of the given country and it speaks volumes without being speaking a word just through banknote. World heritage we all relate to, there are a whole lot of things which divide us but culture is something which connects.  Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi said if the world has to progress and humanity has to survive then the Indian way is the way forward and that way is ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. The exhibition has been organized in the spirit of ‘Vasudaiva Kutumbakam’. She further reiterated 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.


Dr. Sachchidanand Joshi while speaking at the inaugural of the exhibition said, this exhibition is reality of what at first seemed undoable and unimaginable. This   exhibition was envisioned with a perspective to bring forth the cultural heritage of the member nations of G20. He further remarked that bank notes and coins are an invaluable source of reconstructing our global history. He concluded by saying that IGNCA is proud to present this first of its kind exhibition for all.


Sudhakar Raza said in the discussion that this exhibition is probably the first of its kind in the world. He said that the images that we see on the notes are decided after a long process and deliberations. He also said that the series of 2016 notes coming to India is completely manufactured in the country. Its design, ink, and paper are now made in the country itself and its design is also prepared by the designers of India. Earlier all this was done abroad. Prof. Poonam Munjal said that the contribution of various sectors in the economy is appreciated, but the contribution of art and heritage to the economy is not appreciated. Art and heritage also contribute significantly to the economy. When a foreigner goes somewhere, he first gets acquainted with the culture of that place only through currency. Prof. Anand Kothari said that coins are the documents of history and through banknotes people get acquainted with the heritage of a country. Mr. Ashish Chandra of De La Rue, a 200-year-old company involved in the printing of bank notes, said that the exhibition is a great initiative. Banknotes are the most loved and trusted products in the world. Design plays a very important role in a bank note and every note has a unique story behind its design.


The curator of the exhibition, Rukmini Dahanukar, said that this concept is an amalgamation of art design, history, heritage and culture. The beauty of banknotes is that every banknote showcases its cultural value besides the economic value it has. She further added that the design of bank notes is wonderful and the values on the notes are written in 17 Indian languages.  At the end of the panel discussion, Dr. Achal Pandya, HoD, Conservation Division, IGNCA expressed his gratitude to the speakers and the audience. The discussion was moderated by Mrs. Sadhna Srivastava.

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