In a grandeur display of cultural richness, the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) is set to welcome the esteemed spouses of various heads of state attending the forthcoming G20 summit. This exclusive exhibition, titled ‘Roots and Routes,’ promises to be a testament to India’s civilizational heritage, ethos, and its profound interconnectedness with the world.
Nearly 400 exquisite artifacts, including revered Gandhara sculptures, Chola Bronzes, and rare manuscripts, will grace the hallowed halls of NGMA. Among the treasures to be unveiled is a chariot dating back to the era of 2500 BC-1800 BC, excavated from the Sanauli site in Uttar Pradesh in 2018, as well as rare Mexican scrolls. This thematic presentation seeks to illuminate India’s rich culture and its shared bonds with the G20 member nations and invited dignitaries.
The inauguration of this extraordinary exhibition will be an honor bestowed upon the visiting guests, enhancing their G20 experience. ‘Roots and Routes’ weaves a narrative that traverses through Indian sagas, showcasing archaeological artifacts, literature, numismatics, epigraphy, and paintings, creating a tapestry of diversity and opulence.
Notably, a significant portion of the exhibition’s treasures, approximately 80-85%, has been sourced from cultural institutions outside Delhi. Highlights include the prized Gandhara and Mathura art pieces, Amravati friezes, and Chola bronzes.
This exhibition brings to the forefront a continuous dialogue between ‘roots’ and ‘routes,’ giving voice to relatable stories and connecting the dots of our shared human history.
The NGMA, nestled within the British-era Jaipur House, recently underwent extensive renovations to welcome the VVIP guests attending the G20 summit. Stringent security measures are in place, ensuring the safety of these invaluable artifacts, and the gallery will reopen to the public once the summit concludes on September 10.
As a special treat, spouses of the heads of state will enjoy a lavish lunch at the iconic Jaipur House, featuring delectable millet-based delicacies.
The G20 Leaders’ Summit is scheduled to take place on September 9-10 at the newly-constructed international convention and exhibition center, Bharat Mandapam, at Pragati Maidan. The ‘Roots and Routes’ exhibition will occupy the entirety of the two-story Jaipur House, with lotus-themed exhibits adorning the space beneath the rotunda, symbolizing the G20 logo.
The exhibition’s themes encompass ‘roots,’ Sanskrit, beauty and ‘shringar,’ language, India’s global outreach, and maritime connections, among others. An exceptional over 200-year-old lithograph showcasing musical instruments and over 100-year-old glass plate negatives depicting archaeological sites will also be on prominent display.
The ‘Roots and Routes’ exhibition is designed to engage with the core principles of the G20, embodying the spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (the world is one family), advocating universal values such as respect for nature, democratic ideals, gender equality, and education.
This cultural exposition unveils the global connect of the G20 countries, highlighting transnational elements like ‘shringar,’ ‘sangeet,’ and ‘prakriti,’ reflecting the nuanced legacy of India. It brings to light how Indian literature and art intertwine, completing an enriching experience for all attendees.
The ‘routes’ aspect of the exhibition, exploring outreach through language, philosophy, religion, literature, sculpture, and paintings, underscores the meticulous research undertaken in its curation.
This extraordinary gathering of India’s antiquities in such vast diversity and historical significance is a testament to meticulous planning and close collaboration among all partners involved in curating this remarkable exhibition.