The first meeting of the Culture Working Group (CWG) was organised on Thursday in Khajuraho, famous for its grand temples with ancient and rich cultural heritage.The priority of the meeting, which runs till February 25th is mainly focused on four issues –– ‘Protection and Restoration of Cultural Property’, ‘Promotion of Cultural and Creative Industries and Creative Economy’, ‘Using Living heritage for a Sustainable Future’ and ‘Leveraging Digital Technologies for the Protection and Promotion of Culture’.
To further engage with these priorities, CWG has also developed a robust year-long program of cultural projects such as exhibitions, immersive experiences, symposiums, seminars, art residencies and workshops, among others. According to the Ministry of Culture, there will be four meetings of the CWG under India’s G20 Presidency. Apart from Khajuraho, meetings have also been scheduled in Bhubaneswar and Hampi and the final venue is yet to be decided.
The theme for Khajuraho is ‘Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Property’. On Thursday, the first day of the meeting saw serious deliberations on priority areas, covering the role of culture in sustainable economic development. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Dr. Virendra Kumar and Minister of State for Culture, Meenakshi Lekhi were present at the meeting. Lekhi delivered a speech in the first session of the meeting, reiterating the core belief of ‘Truth is One’, which takes culture together and leads to global progress.An exhibition ‘Re(a)Dress: Return of Treasures’ was also organised alongside the meeting.
“India’s G20 culture track is based on the idea of ‘Culture for Life’ –– an eco-conscious lifestyle as a drive for sustainable living” said a Culture Ministry statement. Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Govind Mohan highlighted the need of the hour to revive the patronage of culture across the globe to reshape the global creative and cultural economy. Apart from the meetings, the 125 delegates will witness several cultural programs including the Khajuraho Dance Festival. They will also visit the western group of temples andthe Panna Tiger Reserve.