Recently, Odisha’s museums have had a makeover and are finally welcoming. Prior to the renovations, museums were advocating on behalf of archives. I hope they will continue to shine because without museums we paint a bleak picture where we are devoid of cultural sensitivity. Our social rhetoric about culture is becoming more and more banal and superficial. The contribution of civil society to maintaining the “museum sense” has been nil.

On the contrary, museums often become places of youth, idleness and strolling. If the weather is nice, they hang out in the museums and if the weather is bad, they go to the air-conditioned shopping malls. I don’t blame young people for not realizing the value of museums. We have not yet recognized it ourselves. Governments have been the sole custodians and patrons of museums. Companies have done little to preserve and renovate our museums. The mineral and metallurgical industry lives off our soil but we do not have a single PPP (Public Private Partnership) for the maintenance of museums. Extractions are not worth digging. Strange. Why?

Creative and cultural industries are key components of state economies, especially for Odisha. Their impact on development is both economic and non-economic, tangible and intangible, subjective and objective. The prevalence of cultural sites, services and art forms will boost tourism, support livelihoods and attract investment. The non-economic benefits of culture include the preservation of a rich history, the promotion of knowledge and the development of creativity. Knowledge needs to be promoted as it is disappearing as the essence of life in Odia.

Museums are a world unto themselves, they tell our stories, preserve our heritage, interpret the past and explore the future. We mine everything possible, from roots to bauxite. But why can’t we take care of our historical and architectural excavations. Museums play a vital role in the cultural and social life of Odisha and enrich our daily lives, fueling our thirst for knowledge and igniting our imagination.

But beyond this cultural impact, the museum sector is also essential to the state economy. It generates GDP in a state that has a third of tribal districts and 62 native tribes, stimulates small businesses and contributes to taxes. GDP is not a complete measure but has the capacity to attract us to our interest in the immaterial, creative and social economy. GDP is the bait.

Museums are in “militant mode” and rightly so. He is late. Pornhub, a porn site, has been threatened with being sued by the Uffizi Gallery in Florence for using its masterpieces in a nude video. Pornhub has removed unauthorized nude images. However, our book covers use unauthorized photos taken in museums.

We take museums for granted, like a helpless, redundant, yet decorative past. Copying of cultural artifacts, for example, should only be done by the government, even if the artifacts are no longer copyrighted and are in the public domain. Because there is an unimaginable and horrible apathy in civil society when it comes to Museums. Museums around the world are increasingly capitalizing on the intellectual property of their priceless collections, with some even collaborating with luxury fashion brands, through the products.

The Palace Museum in Beijing earned approximately $222m (£162m) from product sales and royalties in 2018. We can learn from these initiatives and discuss innovative museum promotions, perhaps. to be during a “Sahitya Charcha” in museums.

Museums in Odisha have to fend for themselves. They are cost centers, but they must become profit centers. If they don’t have enough surplus income, our wealth will wither away. These elements are directly correlated. Protecting copyrights and raising lucrative revenue through branding deals will improve the “glamor quotient” of museums, which in turn will attract serious attention.

In 2019, Uffizi in Florence, made around 1.2 million euros (over £850,000) from the sale of photos from its collections. In Odisha, the State Museum, Tribal Museum and Maritime Museum have rare collections and are expected to start selling photos of them. These museums are unique and their management has been commendable so far. They must now have a business plan.

In the past 10 years, how many students from university/school B have completed an internship in our museums? They only come to a museum when they need reference material for their articles. Where is our society’s involvement in our wonderful collections and majestic museums? The architectural and artistic heritage of Odisha is unparalleled. The marketing of museum masterpieces should be encouraged.

There are many souvenir items sold in Bhubaneswar, but they are of poor quality and at extremely low prices. We don’t need to be indifferent to our heritage and display only “imported” trinkets in our living rooms. Our miniatures can also be of high quality. The Louvre Museum has stepped up its licensing efforts and its brand partnerships brought in 4.5 million euros in 2020. Last year, it signed a four-year contract with Uniqlo, the Japanese retailer, and has launched a collection of graphic t-shirts inspired by works of art. Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and Liberty Leading the People.

Odisha is the capital of sport, the capital of steel, the capital of soft culture and yet our creative economy is starving. In 2021, the British Museum launched a cosmetic product (an eyeshadow palette) influenced by ancient Egyptian artifacts, in partnership with Chinese makeup brand Zeesea. Every precious item in the Bhubaneswar Tribal Museum can be reproduced as a souvenir. They are so distinctive and rare. They are not simply objects, but symbols “that speak and breathe”.

There are enough possibilities to create bold and contemporary creations, attracting the interest of a younger and global audience. Regional Museum of Natural History, Kala Bhoomi, State Museum, Khiching Museum, Sun Temple/Konark Museum, Archaeological Museum, Netaji Museum should all turn to merchandise sales to attract young visitors , who are more likely to access museum content online rather than online. the person.

The aim is to make rare archival collections more visible. Odisha’s heritage collection includes an array of artifacts and history spanning anthropology, archaeology, armoury, arts and crafts, epigraphy, geology, natural history, numismatics/coins, palm leaf scrolls, patta painting and more.

The collections of the royal family add to the list and weave a captivating and ancient history. When an antique has a high-end global market, why do we set aside our own valuables? At least 50 functioning palaces can offer their artifacts and antiquities to museums for better maintenance and publicity. Currently, many such articles and stories are buried without any documentation.

It has been seen around the world that many designers go for “creative mashups” of masterpieces. Each district of Odisha has many patterns/symbols. These designs or patterns do not need to be copied on products, but artists can create original designs inspired by artwork and share them online. It will help turn something old and jaded into something modern and exciting. Museums can become platforms for the creative economy. It may not be possible to have so many art galleries, but museums can be so much more than that.

Museums have gone to great lengths to anticipate any threat to cultural heritage. In 2019, the Louvre partnered with Airbnb to allow couples to spend the night in its hallowed halls, should they win a competition. Museums take us on a journey through time and bring us back to the present with a highly evolved mental space. But we must respect museums and help recreate their exotic stories.

The museum sector has a direct (operational) contribution to the economy and can have an increased cascading impact on districts and the state economy. Museums can increase their purchases, both in quality and quantity, from a wider supply chain. Artisans, historians and academics can develop regular engagement with museums and provide the knowledge capital. They can promote culture through events and make a major contribution to tourism. Each of these economic channels can be quantified in terms of their contribution to state GDP, social entrepreneurship and the resulting tax revenues that are generated for all levels of government.

In 2021-2022, Odisha State’s GDP grew by 10.1%, which is a commendable result due to sustained efforts in prudent fiscal measures, Covid management and growth. almost parallel in all three sectors – agriculture, manufacturing and services. Odisha’s euphoric growth story will get additional support from museums, adding cultural capital and social inclusion. Museums are paving ways to complement Start Ups and Make in Odisha initiatives.

Museum needs-based businesses can develop last-mile entrepreneurship among marginalized communities that are skilled but lack market exposure or connections. They can be trained to produce souvenirs and artifacts for display in museums.

Museums can become economic engines for their communities, supporting the jobs and wages that are vital for districts and villages. The economic contribution of museums extends well beyond these immediate transactions. The impact of “cultural capital” and its power to improve lives is not always quantifiable and does not need to be quantified. As Odia’s social milieu undergoes a major transition from an autonomous milieu to a more cosmopolitan one, it is time to strengthen our equity in our ‘cultural capital’. Increasing cultural capital will reduce social class inequalities. The handful of self-proclaimed “culturati” will have to give way to the real masses.

Every village in Odisha has a story to tell, the cultural capital needs to be resurrected. Our inheritance should be allowed to boost our self-esteem. It is as if we had everything and yet nothing. Museums can enable a cultural renaissance in Odisha now. Picasso had said: “give me a museum and I will fill it”. Here we have enough, fill them.


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