On 2 June, 2010, a ceremony was held to celebrate the official opening of the Museum of Sacred Art
in Radhadesh, Belgium. The opening itself is part of wider celebrations to mark the 30th anniversary of Radhadesh. Around a hundred people attended the event, with special guests including His Excellency Dr. J. Bhagwati – Ambassador of India to Belgium, and His Excellency Sutiawan Gunessee – Ambassador of Mauritius to Belgium.
The event began at 15:30 with a reception in the castle and ended at 20:30 with dinner in the restaurant. Guests were shown around the temple and then treated to a cultural program with a concert by renowned flute master Hariprasad Chaurasia and traditional Bharat Natyam and Odissi dance.
“I am very happy to see that Radhadesh has established a collection at the Museum of Sacred Art to facilitate a glimpse into this sacred art influenced by Hinduism.”
– Dr. J. Bhagwati
The museum has two main goals:
1. To create a place where visitors can experience the cultural roots of Vaishnava art and its connection to the broader world of Hinduism.
2. To help support traditional Indian artists by giving them more exposure in the West to encourage them to continue in their work and inspire them to train the next generation.
The museum’s main gallery is located in one of the chateau’s annexe buildings, but the main building itself has many works on display, too. The museum has a permanent collection of nearly 250 pieces — paintings, sculptures, puppets, and sacred objects, and is planning to also organize temporary exhibitions. The setting for the gallery could not be more appropriate: a thriving spiritual community in a beautiful nineteenth-century chateau. The juxtaposition of old and new in this historic setting creates a perfect backdrop for the display and appreciation of living spiritual art traditions. Thousands of visitors from all over Europe come every year to visit the castle, temple, and community. The members of the community offer the visitors a glimpse of Indian spirituality and culture, and an introduction to the rich spiritual art traditions of the subcontinent.
At the opening of the museum, a fully illustrated catalogue of the entire collection was ready. Made by the concerted efforts of a team of writers, editors, and designers, the project was coordinated by Kancana-valli Dasi and Paramdhama-ananda Das. Running to some 272 pages and printed in three languages, it is a great credit to the vision and determination of the museum`s founder and director, Mahaprabhu Das.
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