British Museum blog

The India Leadership Training Programme

Matthew Cock, Head of Web, British Museum

I was lucky enough to be part the British Museum’s team running the first module of the Leadership Training Programme, which has just finished in Delhi. The programme was initiated by the National Culture Fund (NCF) under the Indian Ministry of Culture, with 20 delegates drawn from museums across India – from Delhi to Kolkotta, Mumbai to Chennai – including directors, curators, conservators and administrators.

Programme delegates with Neil MacGregor and Shobita Punja and staff from the British Museum and NCF

Programme delegates with Neil MacGregor and Shobita Punja and staff from the British Museum and NCF

The course is spread over three modules, the first focused on strategic, leadership and management skills, the second in March at the British Museum, on the more practical specialisms of a modern museum such as interpretation, documentation, marketing and education. The final module will be in Mumbai in May. I have no doubt that the two-way exchange of knowledge between delegates and British Museum staff will continue between modules and hopefully beyond the end of the course.

The training sessions were held at the National Culture Fund, in their offices next to the National Gallery of Modern Art. The sessions were long and energetic, with lots of discussion, workshops and case studies from both within and outside the Museum sector, and plenty of passionate debate about ways of leading institutions in times of change. On the day I joined the course, delegates made short presentations following visits to the National Museum of Delhi and the Sanskriti Museums, where they identified opportunities and prioritised changes that could be made to improve the visitor experience.

Our NCF hosts looked after us really well – particularly at lunchtime, where each day brought a new selection of delicious hot food, with local breads freshly cooked on site.

It was a fascinating experience, and though I didn’t have much time to see a lot of the city in the four days I was there, I learnt a lot about Indian museums, and the amazing quality of their collections. I’m looking forward to working with the delegates again in March, and continuing the discussions we began on the use of digital in many aspects of museum work.

Find out more about the India Leadership Training Programme

If you would like to leave a comment click on the title

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5 Responses - Comments are closed.

  1. It is indeed a pleasure to see the beautiful group photograph of the first module of training at Delhi. I also learned many things from teachers and participants particularly the changing museum scenario. All training modules are extremely useful and valid at this stage.
    I hope, the second module will bring more practical exposure to every individual. I extend my heartfelt wishes to all the Leadership Trainers of British Museum. I will never forget this wonderful experience.

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  2. Binoy Kumar Sahay says:

    It was an extremely nice interaction with all the participants , Lectures delivered by members from British Museum and of course the hosts from National Culture Fund,New Delhi.I am looking forward for some really exciting stuff at the B.M. London. Can we have some more pics please.

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  3. RAM PRAVESH SAVITA says:

    Photograph reminds everything,the chill,the class room.the participants,the presenters and the managers of the programme.Each and every movement was encouraging.Hope more activities at BM.
    ram pravesh savita

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  4. I hope all cultures will blossom in British Museum, Module No. 2 Training programme. Our efforts,preparations, and aspirations will come in a new Museum Fragrance with colourful ideas in the cross-cultural interactions all together will bring JOY.
    P.Sankara Rao
    joyfulcultures.wordpress.com

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  5. I sincerely hope that one of the outcomes of this course will be closer collaboration between India and Britain, and also Pakistan, so that the British Museum can at last address one aspect of South Asian archaeology of which (because the surviving artefacts are virtually all held and rightly so in South Asia) there has never been a major exhibition in this country. That is the Indus Valley Civilisation, and it is a serious omission. I believe there was a major touring exhibition in Europe in the 1980’s but for reasons unknown it was not invited to Britain. There is in fact quite a nice collection of mostly terracotta figurines and objects which live in drawers in the Institute of Archaeology, and they have not seen the light of day, as far as the public goes, either. Here’s hoping! This subject is a Primary school topic which is taught by a significant minority of schools in the UK. It would certainly benefit from exhibitions and access to such collections. Perhaps a member of the BM management could comment, please!

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#AncientEgypt #gold #jewellery #BritishMuseum In 1991, BMW invited South African artist Esther Mahlangu to make a work of art in their Art Car project to mark the end of apartheid. Her work, with its brightly coloured geometric shapes, draws on the traditional house-painting designs of Ndebele people in South Africa. Under apartheid the Ndebele were forced to live in ethnically defined rural reserves – their designs are an expression of cultural identity, and can be read as a form of protest against racial segregation and marginalisation.

See this incredible Art Car as part of our #SouthAfricanArt exhibition, which opens 27 October 2016. You can book your tickets now by following the link in our bio.

Esther Mahlangu (b. 1935), detail of BMW Art Car 12, 1991. © Esther Mahlangu. Photo © BMW Group Archives.
#SouthAfrica #history #art #design Mapungubwe was the capital of the first kingdom in southern Africa from AD 1220 to 1290. This gold rhinoceros, alongside four other gold sculptures, was discovered in three royal graves there. They are among the most significant sculptures in Africa today. They depict animals of high status – an ox, a wild cat, and a rhinoceros – and also objects associated with power – a sceptre and a bowl or crown. These treasures were discovered alongside hundreds of gold objects, including bracelets and beads. Gold was mined in the regions around Mapungubwe for trade with the coast, as part of an international trade network stretching as far as China, becoming a status symbol for the kingdom’s rulers.

On loan from the University of Pretoria @upmuseums, these gold treasures will be a highlight of our #SouthAfricanArt exhibition, opening 27 October 2016. Find out more about the exhibition by following the link in our bio.
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Rock art is one of South Africa’s oldest artistic traditions. It was first made by the ancestors of San|Bushmen and Khoekhoen, South Africa’s first peoples, at least 30,000 years ago.

This rock painting will feature in the exhibition. It depicts San|Bushmen running between eland, a type of antelope that is spiritually important. Hunter-gatherer rock paintings such as this are understood to relate to a ritual practice named ‘the great healing’ or ‘trance dance’, which continues today in the Kalahari outside of South Africa. 
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Find out more about our #SouthAfricanArt exhibition by clicking on the link in our bio.

The Zaamenkomst Panel. Detail of rock art depicting San|Bushmen running between eland. Made before 1900. On loan from Iziko Museums of South Africa, Social History Collections and SARADA. Photo: Neil Rusch.
#rockart #SouthAfrica #painting
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