New Delhi’s IGNCA exhibition themed ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ on banknotes to showcase G20 nations heritage

Banknote Show

New Delhi/IBNS: Beginning Friday, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) in New Delhi is organising a unique exhibition titled “Banking on World Heritage” by displaying banknotes depicting the world heritage sites listed by UNESCO.

To be displayed from June 30 to July 9, 2023, the show is curated by Rukmini Dahanukar, an independent scholar and founder of ‘Money Talks’.

The exhibition will be inaugurated on Friday by Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Meenakshi Lekhi. The inauguration will be attended by High Commissioners and Ambassadors of G20 Countries.

To commemorate the ongoing celebrations under India’s presidency of the G-20 Summit, the exhibition focuses on banknotes of the member nations. It is also a special occasion that coincides with the celebration of India’s 75th year of independence along with UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention’s 50th year.

The theme proposed, “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or “One Earth One Family One Future” perfectly matches the “Outstanding Universal Values of World Heritage.”

Speaking at a press conference, Rukmini Dahanukar said that this exhibition will educate the millennial and youngsters about their culture and heritage through bank notes.

She remarked in the light vein that “I have spent more money collecting money”. 

“The bank notes in our country have 17 languages of India, which reflects inclusivity and unity in diversity,” she said. 

This exhibition will also showcase the connection of humanity and culture through banknotes, she added. 

According to Dr. Sachchidanand Joshi, Member Secretary, IGNCA, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts also plans to publish a souvenir. He believes that this souvenir will be of value to scholars and visitors to the exhibition.

Apart from this, it will also create awareness about the World Heritage Sites of different civilizations. It will provide an opportunity for exchange of ideas between scholars and researchers from different countries. 

Prof. Kumar Sanjay Jha, Archivist, IGNCA Cultural Archives, said that never before have banknotes depicting UNESCO World Heritage Sites around the world been presented and commemorated in such a unique way.

Interestingly, the member countries have issued currencies that are one of the most effective ways to depict grand monuments of our history for educating the society about their importance., he said

“The coins are an invaluable source of reconstructing ancient Indian history. They depict the glorious history of our past. In many cases they tell us about the reigning period of kings, the economy of kingdoms, the extent of empires and about trade during that period. They also throw light on the art and religion of the period to which they belong,” he said.

To complement the exhibition, IGNCA is also organizing a panel discussion. The speakers are Sudhakar Kazar, Former Managing Director; Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Ltd.; Prof. Poonam Mahajan, NCAER; Ashish Chandra, Country Director, De La Rue India Private Limited; Anand Kothari, scholar and the show’s curator Rukamini Dahunkar.

Video and images: Yogesh Tyagi and IGNCA