Hampi (Karnataka) [India], July 10 (ANI): Govind Mohan, secretary, Ministry of Culture, said at the third G20 Culture Group (CWG) meet that nearly 150 artifacts are expected to be returned by the US over the next 3 to 6 months, the Union Ministy of Culture informed on Sunday.
The third G20 Culture Group (CWG) meet began in Hampi, Karnataka, on Sunday, and, in a media briefing on the event, Mohan said the 3rd Culture Working Group Meeting under India’s G20 presidency would be hosted by the city from July 9 to 12.
He informed further that the meeting will be attended by delegates from G20 members, guest nations and several international organisations.
On the event’s theme — ‘Protection and Restitution of Cultural Property’, he said, “The UNESCO convention of 1970 enjoins on signatory parties to voluntarily return those artefacts or antiquities belonging to other countries which have been taken there because of colonial plunder, or because of post-colonial misappropriation like smuggling, theft etc”, as per an official release.
He added that the effort at these meetings is for all the G20 countries to become signatories to the convention which will benefit India.
He informed further that India was trying to reach bilateral agreements with countries in this regard, and the same was evident from the Joint Statement during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden State visit to the United States recently.
The Cultural Property Agreement being negotiated between India and US will enable the US authorities to intercept smuggled goods and artifacts and return them expeditiously, he said, adding, “Around 150 artefacts are expected to return from US in the next three to six months.”
He informed that the first two CWG meetings were held at Khajuraho and Bhubaneswar, and the omgoing third meeting at Hampi has drawn 50 participants G20 member countries, invitee countries and seven multilateral organisations.
He added that four expert-driven Global Thematic Webinars were organised successfully, as all the 29 countries and 7 multilateral organisations participated in them, the release said.
The secretary for the Culture ministry stated further that the 3rd CWG meeting will now try to achieve a consensus on the recommendations and best shared practices pertaining to the 4 priorities of the CWG. He informed that the Culture Working Group’s meetings centre around 4 main priority areas that have been outlined as part of the Culture Track during India’s G20 Presidency.
“The four priority areas are — Protection and Restitution of Cultural Property; Harnessing Living Heritage for a Sustainable Future; Promotion of Cultural and Creative Industries and Creative Economy; and Leveraging Digital Technologies for the Protection and Promotion of Culture,” he added.
Mohan added, “Focus is on coming out with a joint statement alomgh with other member countries for the Culture Ministerial Meeting to be held in August at Varanasi.”
Briefing the media Joint Secretary Lily Pandeya said the third culture working group meeting is being attended by all the 20 member-countries along with the 9 dialogue partners of the guest nations and the 7 international organisations.
She informed that the aim of this meeting is to arrive at the consensus and the language of the culture ministerial declaration.
She also informed that a report of the global thematic webinars will be launched during the Culture Ministerial meeting in Varanasi on August 26, this year. She said a robust declaration with action oriented tangible outcomes is expected from the last meeting, according to the Ministry of Culture.
Speaking on the Lambani embroidery work exhibition, Pandeya said, “The CWG aims to enter the Guinness Book of World Records by creating the largest display of Lambani embroidery patches. The theme for the exhibit is ‘Culture Unites All’, which will be inaugurated by Prahlad Joshi, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines.”
This attempt will involve over 450 women artisans from the Lambani community, closely associated with Sandur Kushala Kala Kendra, displaying around 1,300 lambani embroidery patch works made by them.
She also informed that a range of cultural experiences has been carefully selected and arranged for the delegates throughout their visit. These include a visit to heritage sites such as the Vijaya Vittala Temple, the Royal Enclosure, and the Yeduru Basavanna complex of the Hampi Group of Monuments, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
She informed that delegates will also experience the famous Coracle Ride in the Tungabhadra River. DIY activities like Leather puppetry, Ganjifa artwork, Bidri artwork and Kinhal craft have been arranged for the delegates to participate and cherish. Bamboo Symphony band and other cultural performances will be presented to the delegates.
The Culture Working Group is working with delegates of the G20 members, guest nations and international organisations through an inclusive process of in-depth discussions. These deliberations are aimed at reaffirming critical areas for collaborative action and to further develop tangible recommendations and best practices for sustainable development, the release said. (ANI)
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