A fascinating evening of discussion on South Asian cultural heritage was held in Lahore with title “Islamic Art: Heritage, Identity, and Inspiration” under the auspices of the Institute for Policy Reforms, a public policy research think tank.
Ms. Navina Najat Haidar, curator Islamic Art Department, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, gave a presentation to a full house of enthralled listeners. She based her presentation on the recently held award winning exhibition, that she curated, of the Metropolitan museum’s, Sultans of Deccan India, 1500-1700: Opulence and Fantasy.
Opening the discussion, Mr. Humayun Akhtar Khan, Chairman Institute for Policy Reforms said that this event was the first step in meeting a gap in the Institute’s work on public policy.
No discourse on our identity and social evolution is complete without recognition of our entire heritage. Such discussions were particularly important in the present context of the Pakistani society. He further added that as tourism and heritage sector can play vital role as a industry which enhance the trade and business. Art and Heritage can insure the sustainable social and cultural development. Diversity, quality and sale of viable cultural tourism services are the organs of business and trade.
The audience appreciated the informative and enriching commentary about a period in which Islamic art and culture reached a peak.
They welcomed new learning about the many sources of iconography that Islamic art embraced and has since become a common idiom for South Asian Muslims. Some members of the audience said that culture and socio-economic development cannot be separated.
In fact, culture should be the end of development. In a world dominated by Western ideas, it enhances a society’s self-esteem, trade, business and fosters social stability.