New Delhi, Sept 22 : Vice-President Hamid Ansari today said that Museums, libraries, national galleries and archives which are a major contributor to tourist economy, have become powerful places of social learning, promotion of creativity and innovation.
Inaugurating the 15th Triennial Conference of ICOM-CC here, Ansari said societies are seeing the value of conserving cultural property for many associated economic benefits and in a world that is increasingly globalised people look towards their cultural heritage to reaffirm their identities and nurture the sense of belonging to their communities, social groups and nations.
"Restoration and conservation preserve the very object that serves as our link to the past and as a key to the structuring of our future," he added.
Tourism and Culture Minister Ambika Soni said heritage provides a valuable knowledge of the past which helps us in preparing a road map for the future. It is our root and our identity.
"It is a precious economic and cultural asset. On the one hand it makes a valuable contribution towards various economic activities and thereby helps in raising the standards and quality of life of people and on the other hand, it provides meaning to the people for their very existence, therefore, essential that we should not only appreciate our heritage but also build adequate system for their preservation and protection," she added.
She called upon the Governments, scientists, religious leaders, conservators and artisans to come together to engage in the problem solving exercise urgently needed to conserve heritage which in turn will make this world a better place to share, enjoy and live.
Soni said it was here in New Delhi in the year 1956, nearly 50 years ago, that ICCROM - the flagship international organization in the field of Conservation, was born with a resolution during the UNESCO General Conference.
The Minister of State for Tourism and Culture Kanti Singh, Director General, International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), Dr. Mounir Bouchenaki, President, International Council of Museums, Dr. Alissandra Cummins, Chair of International Council of Museums - Conservation Committee (ICOM-CC), Dr. Jan Wouters were also present on the occasion.
The International Council of Museums is an organization of museums and museum professionals, which is committed to the conservation, continuation and communication to society of the world's natural and cultural heritage, present and future, tangible and intangible.
Established in 1946 with links to UNESCO, it now has over 18,000 members in 143 countries.
The five day 15th Triennial Conference of ICOM-CC is being attended by more 550 participants from over 74 countries.