Kolkata gets new ICCR cultural centre

June 2nd, 2008 - 11:10 am ICT by admin  

Kolkata, June 2 (IANS) The Rabindranath Tagore Centre, housing multiple galleries, archives on cultural history, seminar rooms, a business centre and library, has been set up here by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) to promote art in the country’s eastern region. The centre was inaugurated Sunday by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the presence of West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

“I hope that this centre will become the hub of India’s cultural life and promote meaningful cultural, academic and artistic exchanges not only in eastern India but also neighbouring countries like Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar,” Mukherjee said at the inaugural ceremony.

Spread over 3442.5 sq metres, the four-storey complex has been set up in Ho Chi Min Sarani.

“The Bengal Gallery will be reserved for exhibitions on loan from West Bengal government, while the Nandalal Bose Gallery, Jamini Roy Gallery and Ramkinkar Baij Sculpture Court have been set up for organising various exhibitions on sculptures, paintings, textiles and handicrafts by popular artists as well as young talents,” said ICCR president Karan Singh.

“The West Bengal government gave this plot of land to ICCR in 1990. However, various obstacles delayed the project by about 18 years. The Rabindranath Tagore Centre is our dream project,” said Bhattacharjee.

“For a long time the city has felt the need for such an art centre. Grand art exhibitions were being held only in metros like Delhi and Mumbai. Despite being the cultural capital of India, Kolkata missed out on these exhibitions due to the lack of a proper art gallery.

“The only art gallery of the city - Abanindranath Pradarshanshala - is not spacious enough for holding big exhibitions. But now Kolkatans too can experience grand art exhibitions. We are also planning a second art gallery at Rajarhat on the outskirts of the city,” the chief minister added.

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