Sikh gallery at Smithsonian museum draws big crowds

While talking to this correspondent, Mr Taylor said he was “impressed” with the level of awareness in the state on preserving monuments, cultural sites and heritage. He emphasised that even then there was a need to conserve old books, frescos and architecture.

“It can be done either by employing professionals or getting their own men trained in the work,” he said. They would also visit Anandpur Sahib and Quila Mubarak.

Accompanying them was Dr Sohan Singh Chaudhary, an US-based NRI. He said that the Washington-based Sikh Heritage Foundation, whose trustee he was, paid dollars 1.5 million to establish the gallery in the museum.

He added that it helped in educating people about the separate identity of the Sikhs from the Muslims, which had become vital following the hate crimes after 9/11.

Mr Taylor said the Smithsonian Institution comprised of 17 museums and the National Zoo in Washington DC, and two museums in New York City. Its exhibitions offer visitors a glimpse into the staggering collection over 136 million objects which provide endless opportunities to stimulate the imagination. He added that the admission was free to all.

Mr Taylor said the National Museum of Natural History also focused on the earth and its evolution, with displays of animals, plants, fossils, rocks, minerals and cultural artifacts.

He added that the assemblage on exhibit under “Sikhs: Legacy of the Punjab”, besides illustrating the Sikhism from Guru Nanak Dev till date, also showcased intricacies of various religious ceremonies.

The visitors also went to the Guru Nanak Dev University and met the Vice-Chancellor, Dr S.P Singh, and other professors.

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