British Museum (BM) has developed an online exhibition “Celebrating Ganesha” with Google Cultural Institute (GCI).
Its tagline includes “Explore the imagery and symbolism associated with Ganesha and gain an insight into some of the most popular stories surrounding him”.
It shows a Ganesha sculpture (1200), Ganesha painting (1600), Ganesha on a swing painting (1800, Maharashtra), Ganesha in procession painting ((1780-1820, Tanjore style), Ganesha on his rat mount painting (1800)—all from BM, and a video on “The making and worship of Ganesha statues in Maharashtra”.
It explains about the background of “Why does Ganesha ride a rat?”, Ganesha’s elephant head and Ganesha’s broken tusk.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, commending BM and GCI for this joint venture in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urged world museums and multinational technology companies to undertake projects to explore the rich philosophical thought and wisdom offered by Hinduism and Hindu scriptures.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, appealed to major art museums of the world; including Musee du Louvre and Musee d’Orsay of Paris, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Los Angeles Getty Center, Uffizi Gallery of Florence (Italy), Art Institute of Chicago, Tate Modern of London, Prado Museum of Madrid, National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, etc.; to frequently organize Hindu art focused exhibitions, thus sharing the rich Hindu art heritage with the rest of the world.
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking.
BM, headquartered in London and founded in 1753, is claimed to be the first national public museum in the world. It now comprises over 8 million objects spanning the history of the world’s cultures: from the stone tools of early man to twentieth century prints. Sir Richard Lambert is Trustees Chairman, while Dr. Hartwig Fischer is the Director as of spring 2016.
The GCI claims to bring “together millions of artifacts from multiple partners, with the stories that bring them to life, in a virtual museum”.