ICCR to open first cultural diplomacy centre in Kolkata

May 23rd, 2008 - 2:10 am ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) will open its first cultural diplomacy centre in Kolkata next week - that will exclusively interact with South East Asian nations. The Rabindranath Tagore Centre will be inaugurated May 31 by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, with West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, ICCR president Karan Singh and other senior ICCR officials present.

Eighteen years after the state government donated land for the project, the centre is expected to become a hub for international cultural events, with artists from the South East Asian nations exhibiting their traditional and contemporary arts.

“In the true spirit of Tagore’s faith in universalism, the centre would ideally become a hub of cultural activity inviting international participation with considerable local interaction,” said a press release issued by the ICCR Thursday.

The four-storey complex, on a plot of 3,442 square metres, was designed by famous Indian architect Charles Correa and completed by Kolkata architect Dulal Mukherjee. It has several art galleries spread over three floors.

It also has a library and archives, along with lecture and seminar rooms, as well as a Maulana Azad Conference Centre.

The art galleries have been named after luminaries from Bengal - Abanindranath Tagore, Nandalal bose, Jamini Roy and Ramkinkar Baij.

A 280-seat auditorium has been named after Bengal’s foremost film auteur Satyajit Ray.

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