Museums, a journey from history to the future


CULTURE is not a luxury for the so-called elite, but the foundation of a free society, so preserving and exhibiting the history of a country is in fact the promotion of culture and the protection of its heritage.

Since culture, visual arts, history and theater are at the core of my interests as an academician and student of communication philosophy, therefore, visiting and studying museums are exciting and important areas of my work.

This summer, when I was traveling and visiting European museums, including Budapest, Prague, Vienna, Copenhagen and Oslo, I discovered an interesting aspect of the influence of museums on travelers and now I understand why Europeans spend so much resources and give so much preference to their museums?

When you visit a museum, you don’t just see artifacts or paintings, you begin a journey into the past, present, and possible future of the nation that owns the artifacts.

Vienna is the city of art, literature, history and civilization not only of Austro-Hungarian culture, but it is also a source of several ideas associated with the Renaissance and the cradle of several artistic movements, including the impressionism and expressionism.

When you view a work of art or read a literary work, you are communicating in a credible, understandable and interactive way with the era to which poetry, prose, paintings and artefacts belong and represent.

While visiting the “Belvédère”, one of the oldest museums in the world and place of contemporary art, I asked myself why don’t we have a Belvédère museum that can link our past with our present and our future? We know that a relevant museum is present in the minds and hearts of people. The Belvédère as a Museum is a point of reference in an exotic present.

A historical constant, it links the past to the future. It’s independent. It sees itself as a learning and teaching organization.

A relevant museum takes a stand on contemporary issues and social policy. He is raising his voice for art and its potential for democratization.

He takes responsibility for ecological concerns concerning the planet. Its contribution to the development of society promotes social justice. His attitude sets the example; his voice is heard.

I don’t want to compare European museums with what we have in Pakistan because we can say that our society serves and still survives through the reality of bed and bread.

However, when I see villas and farmhouses in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar and Quetta, I wonder why don’t we establish jewel-like Belvedere (museum) palaces that were actually a residence of summer of Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736)? We have government bungalows that stretch across acres of land where our “crème de crème” bureaucracy lives.

Can’t we use such a building in a district to establish a place where our young people can come to see the heritage of their ancestors and travelers can feel the history of the country they are going to?

We have heard that the government is considering converting the Prime Minister’s House, the Governor’s Houses and those huge lush green spaces into universities.

I firmly believe that visiting museums is a search for beauty, truth and meaning in our lives. Can we use just one of these places for a beautiful museum of Belvedere stature?

This decision would not require any financial resources to turn such a place into a museum. Pierre-Auguste Renoir was a French artist who was one of the main painters in the development of the Impressionist style.

He says: “If out of a million visitors there is even one for whom art means something, that is enough to justify museums.

– The writer is an analyst who writes for national and international media.


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