The third G20 Culture Group (CWG) meeting began in Hampi, Karnataka yesterday. Briefing the media in Hampi yesterday, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Government of India, Shri Govind Mohan said that the 3rd Culture Working Group Meeting under India’s G20 presidency is being organized in Hampi, Karnataka from 9th -12th July.
He also said that the meeting will be attended by delegates from G20 members, guest nations, and several international organizations.
He informed me that the first two CWG meetings were held at Khajuraho and Bhubaneswar. In the third meeting at Hampi around 50 participants are participating from the G20 member countries, invitee countries and seven multilateral organizations. He also informed that four expert-driven Global Thematic Webinars were organized and these have been successful as all the 29 countries and seven multilateral organizations participated in the webinars.
Shri Govind Mohan said that the 3rd CWG meeting will now try to achieve a consensus on the recommendations and best practices shared 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 4 priority areas are the 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.
Shri Govind Mohan also said that the focus is on evolving a joint statement among the member countries for Culture Ministerial Meeting to be held in August at Varanasi.
Giving more details on the theme of ‘Protection and Restitution of Cultural Property’ he said that the UNESCO convention of 1970 enjoins on signatory parties to voluntarily return those artifacts belonging to other countries which have been taken there because of colonial plunder, or because of post-colonial misappropriation like smuggling, theft etc. He said that there is an effort in the meetings that all the G20 countries should become signatories to the convention which will benefit India.
CWG aims to enter the Guinness Book of World Records by creating the largest display of Lambani embroidery patches
He also informed that bilaterally also India is trying to have agreements with countries and this was visible in the Joint Statement of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States. The Cultural Property Agreement being negotiated between India and US will enable the US authorities to intercept smuggled goods and artefacts and return them expeditiously. He also informed that around 150 Artifacts are expected to return from US in the next three to six months.
Speaking on the second theme of ‘Harnessing Living Heritage for a Sustainable Future’ he said that the theme aims to improve the rights of the indigenous people and safeguard against misappropriation of traditional practices. The theme aims to have a discussion so that the practising communities should benefit from any kind of commercialization of the living heritage.
Briefing on the third theme of ‘Promotion of Cultural and Creative Industries and Creative Economy’ he said that there is a thrust on creating mechanisms to understand what kind of cultural footprints are getting created at cultural monuments, and cultural places and to create a creative economy through that understanding.
Speaking on the fourth theme ‘Leveraging Digital Technologies for the Protection and Promotion of Culture’ he said the entire cultural world is undergoing a digital revolution through Augmented Reality, Virtual reality and Immersive. There is a focus on creating mechanisms to allow interoperability so that digital products can be shared across boundaries.
He also said that an exhibition titled “Woven Narratives” is being organized as part of the 3rd G20 CWG Meeting at Hampi. The exhibition’s theme focuses on the third priority outlined by the CWG – ‘Promotion of Cultural and Creative Industries and Creative Economy’. This exhibition brings into focus the role of hand weaving across India’s creative and geographical contexts, by drawing attention to their distinct ecologies of manufacture, trade and use. The exhibits on view are conceptualised and created by those who practice as artisans, craftspersons, artists and designers, employing a range of expertise and skills in hand weaving. The exhibition will be open to the public from 14th July to 14th August.
Briefing the media Joint Secretary, Ms Lily Pandeya said that the third culture working group meeting is being attended by all the 20 countries along with the 9 dialogue partners of the guest nations and the seven international organizations.
G20 delegates to visit Vijaya Vittala Temple and the Royal Enclosure at Hampi during the meeting
She informed me that in this meeting aim is to arrive at a 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 26th August this year. She said that a robust declaration with action-oriented tangible outcomes is expected from the last meeting.
Speaking on the Lambani embroidery work exhibition, Ms 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 Shri 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 1300 lamb and embroidery patchworks made by them.
She also informed that a range of cultural experiences has been carefully selected and arranged for the delegates to witness throughout their visit. These include a visit to heritage sites like 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 in and cherish. The 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 aimed to reaffirm critical areas for collaborative action and to further develop tangible recommendations and best practices for Sustainable Development.
Disclaimer: This is an official press release by Pib.