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India and France step up work on creating a new National Museum in Delhi

India and France step up work on creating a new National Museum in Delhi (Photo: @FranceinIndia)

Advancing Indo-French cooperation on culture and global commons, a senior official from the Emmanuel Macron government visited Delhi on Monday to co-chair the Joint Working Group on Museology that is leading the project to create a new National Museum in the capital city.

Besides holding discussions, Aurelien Lechevallier, Director General for Global Affairs and Cultural and Economic Diplomacy, French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, also visited the North and South Block sites, where the new museum will be located.

As per the ‘Letter of Intent’ signed on the occasion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Paris in July 2023, France will be India’s partner on this project through its national agency France Museums Developpement (subsidiary company of Agence France Museums).

This followed the India-France Joint Statement issued during PM Modi’s visit to Paris in May 2022 that mentioned both countries are exploring the possibilities and mechanisms for France to be a “knowledge partner” in the creation of a National Museum in Delhi.

“It will display the rich history and heritage of India through the millennia and will comprise collections from both the current Indian National Museum and the pan-India museums,” read the document.

Lechevallier, during his Delhi visit, also participated in the Governing Council meeting of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) along with Permanent co-chair, P.K. Mishra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of India.

It is to be recalled that France’s candidacy for the CDRI co-chairship was first announced during President Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to India in January 2024.

“As a multi-stakeholder coalition, CDRI has the unique capacity to leverage international initiatives such as the Paris Pact for People and the Planet, and tools such as the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment, FAST-Infra sustainable infrastructure certification, and the SOURCE Platform initiated by multilateral development banks to boost investments in resilient infrastructure and provide comprehensive assistance to the participating countries,” Lechevallier was quoted as saying in a statement released by the French Embassy in India on Tuesday.