Indian Strings and Dances

All exhibition films are now available to watch on:

Rolf Killius

The Sutton Subrang Dance Ensemble, Photo: Rolf Killius

The Museum of Croydon and the London Sitar Ensemble hosted a major exhibition in the Croydon NOW gallery of the Museum of Croydon, and other public display areas at Croydon Clocktower, from April to July 2009. The exhibition showcased the outputs of the ‘String and Dance Festival’ Project which was run by London Sitar Ensemble. The core exhibition comprised of oral history interviews (video), musical instruments and associated objects from the Community Groups involved and other donors (potentially the Horniman Museum), photographs and videos showing musical performances and dances from the Indian Sub-Continent as performed in the UK, costumes and associated musical instruments of all eight classical Indian dances and three folk dance genres from western India. Within the musical instruments display the emphasis was on string instruments like the sitar, sarangi, violin, veena, sarod, santoor and the supporting instruments like drums and cymbals.

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A Cornish Perspective


Exhibition dates: 4th February – 13th February 2009 (excluding weekend)

Opening times: 10am-6pm

Admission: Free

An exhibition of paintings by nine artists from Cornwall will be held at the offices of the European Commission in London, Jean Monnet House, Westminster. Artists whose work will be exhibited include:

Clive Carter
Anthony Frost
Francis Hewlett
Ashley Hold
Robert Jones
Andrew Lanyon
Margot Maeckelburghe
Mary Martin
Louise McClary

Viewing will be on Wednesday 4th to Friday 6th February and Monday 9th to Friday 13th, between 10am to 6pm.

Jean Monnet House is at 8 Storey’s Gate, adjacent to Central Hall Westminster. 
Nearest underground: St. James’ Park

This exhibition is being hosted by the European Commission in association with the Cornish Gorsedh and the Centre for European research within Cornwall, CERES.

For more information please contact or 01209 715642

CERES is a not-for-profit organisation which provides cultural heritage links between Cornwall and the wider Europe. Cornwall possesses a vibrant cultural heritage stemming from Celtic origins; a heritage which has contributed significantly to the European mosaic. From the outset the policy of CERES was to establish links at working levels in the European Commission and Parliament, and similarly in the Council of Europe and with organisations such as the European Cultural Foundation. This policy has been maintained with success and the Secretariat’s pioneering approaches laid foundations that led to a greater European awareness of Cornwall and to Cornish participation in a variety of heritage programmes and projects.

New “Hidden Histories” series

Tuesdays at 7.30pm BBC2 Wales from 4 November

A new five-part television series following the investigative work of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. The Commission and the FBI are both 100 this year – watch the ‘Welsh bureau of investigation’ uncovering clues to our past.


4 November – Building Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Rediscovering a lost church in the Conwy Valley. The oldest gate in Europe?


11 November – Uncovering an Industrial Revolution copperworks in Swansea. Deciphering a ninth-century inscription. Revealing an Iron Age hillfort.


18 November – The Roman army at Trawsfynydd. Exploring social history with Huw Edwards at a great Llanelli chapel. Tracing Tudor master-carpenters.


25 November – Lumps and bumps in the uplands. A Victorian millionaire’s farm. Rediscovering wall paintings in the Wye Valley.


2 December – A disappearing mansion at Llandeilo. How would Wales have fought a Nazi invasion? Searching for a castle of the Welsh princes at Portmeirion.


Available on iPlayer at

Simon Jenkins on World Heritage in the UK

Simon Jenkins (The Guardian) wrote on Friday 12th September 2008 a critical article on the current condition of World Heritage Status in the UK, challenging new British developments and questioning the role that UNESCO is playing in preserving these sites and their context. He claims,

“World heritage status, enjoyed by 885 sites on the planet, means absolutely nothing” and goes on with: “The decline of British urban design is a mystery. Projects that would not survive a minute in other European cities must be fought line by line through British planning committees, public inquiries and courts.”

Read the full article by Simon Jenkins

Read ICOMOS-UK’s response

We welcome your comments on this story below.

A Journey Through Kazakhstan

Saturday 4th October, 9.30am-7pm

A study day organised in association with the British Museum, British Kazakh Society and the Royal Asiatic Society, focussing on the history and culture of Kazakhstan. It will include lectures by noted academics and writers of the archaeology, history, art and music of Kazakhstan, providing an introduction to this vast country of diverse landscapes and a rich cultural heritage. There will also be a performance by renowned Kazakh musicians of traditional music, a photographic exhibition and a reception at the end of the day.

For more information and bookings please click here.

Utsavam Exhibition Special Tour – Kathakali event

Monpa Musician

Monpa Musician, Photo: Rolf Killius

Seven months ago the Horniman Museum opened its exhibition Utsavam – Music from India, exploring the rich and diverse music of India. It takes its name from the Sanscrit word “Utsavam”, meaning musical festivities.

Utsavam – Music from India explores the cultural and lingustic diversity of a land that is home to a sixth of the world’s population. Sound, film footage, musical instruments and objects including a spectacular Kathakali dance costume take you on a journey to India, where music traditions are under threat at a time of rapid change in the subcontinent.

Responding to the huge public demand, Rolf Killius, Co-curator of the exhibition, decided to invite for a special guided tour through the exhibition. On Sunday 21 September the Museum will host the Kala Chetana Kathakali Company with special guests (dancers and musicians) from Kerala. The special tour will take place on 21st September at 4.15pm directly after the Kathakali performance at the exhibition entrance. To see the line-up details, read the press reports and watch the programmes about the exhibition please follwo this link produced by Nigel Muris from Printstream.You might also be interested in an exciting new project, which in a way follows the path cleared by the Horniman’s Utsavam exhibition: an online sound project of the British Library Sound Archive in collaboration with the Horniman Museum, Traditional Music in India, where 100 music examples from recording trips to India starting in 1995 will be selcted and presented on the official British Library website and will be downloadable in mp3 format.

Utsavam programme
Kala Chethana Kathakali Sun 21 Sept Workshops 10.30am– 2.30pm, Performance 3– 4pm Dancers and musicians from Kerala will perform Kathakali, one of the best known dance forms of Kerala. Before the performance, workshops will explore Kathakali music, the dancers’ symbolic gestures or mudras, and their elaborate costumes and make up.

Sarangi Making Demonstration Sun 21 Sept 1.30–3.30pm Join sarangi maker Pritham Singh who will be demonstrating aspects of making and playing the sarangi, this bowed stringed instrument of north Indian classical and traditional music.

Related websites:

European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage 2008

Sherban Cantacuzino, ICOMOS-UK President Emeritus

Sherban Cantacuzino, ICOMOS-UK President Emeritus

We are please to announce that architect Sherban G. Cantacuzino originally from Romania, CBE FSA D.Univ (York) MA (Cantab) FRIBA and ICOMOS-UK President Emeritus, has been awarded a Medal in Category 3 – Dedicated Service at the 2008 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage.

Sherban has dedicated his life to architecture and heritage conservation in Europe and around the world. He has taught, published and helped shape national and European policies and programmes in the field of cultural and natural heritage protection. He held functions in a large number of committees in the United Kingdom and in several international organisations. After 1989, he focussed on Central and Eastern European countries and offered his experience to organise measures to safeguard the heritage in these countries. He initiated numerous projects, particularly in Croatia and Romania , where he is the Founder-President of Pro Patrimonio, the National Trust of Romania. The career of Sherban Cantacuzino is valued for its outstanding contribution to the welfare of Europe ‘s cultural heritage. His continuous energy and dedication for the cause of historic buildings and environmental conservation in Romania has been particularly admired.