India, France broaden arts cooperation

January 31st, 2012 - 10:59 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) India and France will broaden their cultural cooperation in the coming weeks with a two-year bilateral cultural exchange programme from 2012-2014, the culture ministry said Tuesday.

The MoU for the programme will be signed between the cultural ministries of India and France, the ministry said in a statement.

The two countries last week inked an arts understanding relating to expertise and capacity enhancement, exchange of professionals and collaborative exhibitions during Union Culture Minister Kumari Selja’s four-day visit to Paris Jan 26-29.

The arrangement involves the Paris-based Louvre Museum, the National Museum and the National Gallery of Modern Art.

A similar MoU was signed with the British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, and the British Library in June 2010 for cooperation in arts.

Selja held a high level meeting with the French Minister of Culture and Communications Frederic Mitterrand to discuss cultural cooperation.

In the joint statement issued by the two ministers after the meeting, they expressed satisfaction at the cultural relations between the two countries, particularly the festivals “Bon Jour India” and “Namaste France” held in the recent past.

The ministers agreed to work for further widening and deepening of the cultural relations and welcomed the Indian initiative of establishing a Cultural Centre in Paris.

In another meeting with Henri Loyerette, president-director of the Louvre Museum, Selja stressed the importance of collaboration at institution-to-institution level.

The minister also inaugurated an exhibition of Tagore Paintings at the Petit Palais Museum in Paris Jan 26, to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore.

Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoe graced the opening. Paris is one of the nine international venues where Tagore exhibitions are being held and it holds a special place as Tagore had held his first-ever international exhibition of paintings in Paris in May 1930. Expositions of Tagore paintings are currently on at various archives across the world including Victoria and Albert Museum, London and at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Speaking at the inauguration, Selja brought to light the multifarious talents of Tagore and his choice of non-verbal communication in the form of paintings in latter part of his life.

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