International sculptures to enhance Chandigarh’s attraction

July 31st, 2008 - 1:47 pm ICT by IANS  

By Alkesh Sharma
Chandigarh, July 31 (IANS) Known for its gardens and neatly laid out township, this city is now set to showcase sculptures by international artists at prime locations. “These sculptures will provide the city beautiful with added attractions and complement the surroundings. Our aim is to beautify certain locations of the city without compromising its heritage character,” Vivek Atray, director, cultural affairs, Chandigarh, told IANS.

The Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi and the city’s department of cultural affairs have prepared a blueprint of the project. Expressions of interest have been invited from eminent artists and sculptors from all over the world.

“We plan to install sculptures of high aesthetic value. They will be designed, fabricated and installed by renowned sculptors,” said Atray.

“We are not following any particular theme and the artists can use their own imagination but final approval will be done by the department of cultural affairs.”

Initially there will be five prime locations to put up the sculptures. Those under consideration are the domestic airport, railway station, sector-17, Sukhna Lake and Panjab University.

A replica of the Eiffel tower installed in Sector-10 has been a huge success and is a centre of attraction for tourists.

Chandigarh, which has about two-dozen big gardens, is also famous for its rock garden housing sculptures made of waste material. It is India’s only planned city.

The artist fraternity here is very excited about the idea and feels it will help draw more tourists in Chandigarh, which got around one million visitors last year.

“It is a unique effort on the part of the administration. The artist community of the region will extend full help in this novel drive,” said an official of Lalit Kala Akademi, Chandigarh.

“These sculptures will certainly act as a catalyst in attracting more tourists to Chandigarh.”

D.S. Kapoor, a sculptor and a faculty member at the Chandigarh College of Art, said: “Even Le Corbusier, the French architect who planned Chandigarh, was in favour of installing sculptures in various places.

“The famous open hand emblem of Chandigarh and fountain fish at Sector-17 were his ideas.”

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