Artisans at craft museum awaiting Michelle Obama’s visit

November 4th, 2010 - 8:51 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) The rural artisans at the National Handicrafts and Handloom Museum here are an excited lot. Anticipating US First Lady Michelle Obama’s visit, they are busy lining up their masterpieces and putting up the best show forward.

“Workers are busy creating handicrafts with enthusiasm to showcase them for Michelle. We hope for a good business during her visit,” said Kalyani, an artisan from Tamil Nadu.

Kalyani has been trying to put up a collection of motif paintings and small sketches on palm leaves — her speciality.

Within the crafts museum, artists are occupied with their respective tasks. Terracota figures, Madhubani paintings, bronze statues, and jute handiworks take their respective shapes at the hands of their rural masters.

“Though we’re still not sure of Michelle’s visit, we’re trying our best to put up a worthy show in case she turns up. There’s so much she can choose from in case she wants to buy our handicrafts,” said Sumitra, a jute-basket weaver.

Mushtak Khan, a consultant with the Crafts Museum, said: “We haven’t got the official confirmation about Michelle Obama’s visit but the Delhi government has told us to remain on standby.”

Khan says the news of Michelle’s probable visit has created a lot of buzz among the public. Since the last 10 days, the museum has been receiving an average of 100 foreign visitors and 300-500 students everyday.

Although the museum is currently under renovation, Khan denies it has anything to do with the US First Lady’s visit.

“We have received around Rs.5 crore from the government for renovating the complex. It is a long process and has no relation to a possible visit by Michelle Obama,” Khan said.

Whether Michelle Obama visits the museum or not, the place will be looking its ethnic best during Nov 7-9.

“There are Baul singers from Bengal and crafts prepared by around 25 women artisans from different states waiting for visitors’ attention,” Khan said.

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