ASI turns 150

With age, birthdays tend to be mellower, less flamboyant. And 150 is a formidable age. No wonder then that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) plans to keep its sesquicentenary celebrations somewhat modest. The intention, says Director General Gautam Sengupta, is to “reach out” to children and to the man on the street. So from creating museum corners in 150 schools to producing books—including volumes for children on the Stone Age and numismatics — ASI has more than restoration and excavation on its mind. Commemorative stamps, medals, books in Braille are all in order, of course. But barring a conference on architecture of Buddhism in Asia (Feb 17–19) at Delhi’s National Museum, dates and venues for events remain tentative. Several exhibitions, including travelling shows, are pencilled in for next winter, though. On display will be projects over the last fifty years and initiatives abroad; even as it adds Myanmar’s Ananda Temple at Bagan and Vietnam’s My Son temples to its small, yet significant, off-shore roster.

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