India & Portugal to set up National Maritime Heritage Museum
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.