Art & Culture Current Affairs - 2019
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India and Portugal will cooperate in setting up of a national maritime heritage museum at ancient Indian site of Lothal in Gujarat. Lothal (literally means the mound of dead) was one of port cities of Indus Valley Civilization (Harappan Civilization).
- Background: In March 2019 Government of India allocated a grant for building maritime museum and foundation stone for project was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Then during Portuguese Defence Minister João Gomes Cravinho visit to India in April 2019, initial discussions were held between India and Portugal for developing maritime museum.
- Feature: The proposed maritime museum in Indian is likely to come up on lines of similar museum at Lisbon, which is administered by Portuguese Navy.
- Implementing agencies: Museum Project will be implemented by Union Ministry of Shipping through its Sagarmala programme, along with involvement of State government, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and other stakeholders.
- Indian Navy is also keen to be a stakeholder in project and Portuguese Navy has agreed to assist the former with their experience of administering maritime museum in Lisbon.
- It will showcase and preserve India’s rich and diverse maritime heritage.
- It also seeks to highlight ancient shipbuilding and navigational technologies developed by India.
Portugal is home to the Navy Museum (a maritime museum) in Lisbon, which is administered by Portugal Navy. So the two countries discussed that India could also follow the similar mode. Soon a Defence Ministry-led delegation would also be visiting Portugal to study existing museum in Lisbon.
Tags: Archaeological Survey of India • India-Portugal • Indus Valley Civilization • João Gomes Cravinho • Lisbon • National Maritime Heritage Museum • Navy Museum • Portuguese Defence Minister • Sagarmala Programme • Union Ministry of Shipping
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena gifted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi a Samadhi Buddha statue (Buddha in meditation posture), during latter’s visit to Island nation.
- Prime Minister Modi arrived in Sri Lanka for a day-long visit, during which he met with President Sirisena and discussed bilateral issues of mutual interest.
- His visit is considered as a sign of India’s affirmation of solidarity with island nation in aftermath of the deadly Easter terror attacks in April 2019. PM Modi is first foreign leader to visit Sri Lanka after Easter attacks.
About Samadhi Buddha Statue
- The masterpiece replica of Samadhi Buddha statue presented to PM Modi has been hand carved using white teak and took almost two years to complete.
- This is considered to be one of best sculptures of Anuradhapura era (377 BC to 1017 AD) which is the first established kingdom in ancient Sri Lanka. The original statue was sculptured between 4th to 7th centuries AD.
- The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) called the Samadhi Buddha statue as ‘special gift from special friend’.