Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi, has approached UNESCO with an ambitious project to document Central Asian Antiquities. It involves participation by all countries which hold Central Asian Antiquities in their museums and other such institutions. UNESCO has approved the project through a Resolution of the General Conference in October 1995. IGNCA will organise a feasibility conference in Delhi some time in 1997 to work out how it is to be done. The whole project will be carried out through the International Institute of Central Asian Studies (IICAS) set up with UNESCO help at Samarkand. The Conference Resolution is reproduced.
Noting with satisfaction the establishment of the International Institute for Central Asian Studies in Samarkand in August 1995;
Recognizing that Central Asian Republics, viz. Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan are a coherent unit for its study with important common civilization features;
Recognizing further that the study of this area has occupied a central place in UNESCO's programme of 'Integral Study of the Silk Roads - Roads of Dialogue';
Realizing that it offers considerable scope for further documentation for comparative research as a collaborative international effort;
Realizing the need to make its heritage more accessible to scholarship worldwide;
Noting that its heritage lies scattered in numerous institutions, in various countries around the world;
Noting further that single items of this heritage are often fragmented and distributed in museums and other institutions in these countries;
Realizing the need to make copies of these fragments and to reassemble the originals in electronic and print formats;
Realizing further the need to map the locations where these items were found;
Noting that the Intergovernmental Committees of the World Decade for Cultural Development adopted a recommendation at its second extraordinary session in April 1995 on this subject;
Invites Member States to collaborate with the International Institute for Central Asian Studies (IICAS) in the documentation of this heritage, the reconstruction of originals from fragments, and the identification of the locations of their creation and the routes of their dissemination, all in print and electronic formats;
Recommends that participating Member States should designate institutions for assuming the responsibility and networking in this collaborative venture;
Requests the Director-General to formulate in close co-operation with IICAS and its branches a regional programme covering Central Asia which will:
1) document the location of Central Asian antiquities and items of its heritage now scattered in various institutions worldwide;Invites him further to assist in whatever way possible without immediate budgetary implications, a feasbility study for this regional programme for the documentation of Central Asian Antiquities, a heritage now dispersed through the world.
2) publish the information in catalogues in print and electronic formats;
3) reconstitute the originals in print and electronic formats; and
4) identify and map the sites where these items were originally found.
For information contact:
Madhavan K. Palat