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Indian Museum plans to increase access to disabled

IANS - Thursday 16th October, 2014

Taking a leaf out of top international museums' books, the Indian Museum here is planning to introduce the concept of visitors' study group and innovative measures for the disabled to increase public engagement, an official said Wednesday.

According to B. Venugopal, director, Indian Museum - the country's oldest museum, the "audience research" discipline or visitor studies will enhance understanding of visitors' needs and aid in strategising for future exhibits and optimal utilisation of space.

"The modern day concept of museums involves engaging general public through ways that they feel comfortable in and by initiating visitors' study we can get enhance their experience," Venugopal told IANS.

Which galleries interest which age-group, what more exhibits do visitors want and how to familiarise public with the intricacies of what goes on in the background are some of the areas of focus.

The decision comes after a series of consultative meetings with experts from the UK this week, including officials from London's Natural History Museum.

"In addition, social inclusion remains a priority. For example, we plan to hold special events for people who can't access museum facilities normally. We have built one ramp for wheel chair bound visitors and we will scale up such measures," he said.

Calling for enhanced cooperation and cultural exchanges with India, Britain's Arts Council and British Council Tuesday launched a 1.5 million pound fund to build creative connections between the two countries.

Called 'Re-Imagine India' the project will provide opportunities for developing collaborations and cultural exchanges through projects showcasing the best of British and Indian arts.

The latest fund is in addition to the 5 million pounds committed by the British Council for the "Re-Imagine Arts" programme that started in 2013.

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