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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Philatelic Exhibition on Rabindranath Tagore, Cairo, Egypt.



Press Release No. 28
June 16, 2011

MAULANA AZAD CENTRE FOR INDIAN CULTURE

EMBASSY OF INDIA

23, Talaat Harb Street, Down Town, Cairo

150th birth anniversary celebrations of Rabindranath Tagore
Tagore Exhibition at El Bab Gallery, 5-17 July, 2011

To commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC), Embassy of India, Cairo, in cooperation with the Foreign Cultural Relations Sector and the Fine Arts Sector of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture will be bringing two exhibitions related to Tagore which will be inaugurated on 5 July, 2011 at 7 p.m by H.E Dr Emad Abou Ghazi, the Egyptian Minister of Culture and H.E Mr R.Swaminathan, Ambassador of India at El Bab Gallery at the Opera House Complex. The function will be graced by H.E Mr Hossam Nassar, First Under Secretary for Foreign Cultural Relations and H. E Dr Ashraf Reda, Head of the Fine Arts Sector.

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was the first Asian Nobel Laureate. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913.  Tagore was a master of several literary forms – he was a poet, a novelist, a short-story writer and a playwright. His contributions reshaped Bengali literature and music in the late 19th and early 20th century. Tagore is perhaps the world’s only writer whose compositions have been adopted as the national anthems of two countries: India and Bangladesh. At the age of 60, Tagore also became a celebrated painter. Tagore was also a pioneering educationist (thus the honorific ‘Gurudev’ meaning ‘Teacher’), and greatly promoted rural reconstruction. He set up a school, Santiniketan, and thereafter, a world famous university called Visva Bharati in West Bengal, India as well as a centre for promotion of traditional arts and crafts in Sriniketan. He was a national leader and an internationalist who visited many countries including Egypt in 1925.
 The Tagore exhibitions will consist of two elements: (i) ‘A Philatelic Exhibition on Tagore’ which consists of 20 panels of commemorative stamps and other rare philatelic objects issued by the postal departments of around 20 foreign countries on Rabindranath Tagore. Some of these items are more than a century old and belong to private collectors in India. Mr Sekhar Chakrabarti, one of three Indian collectors, whose collections are used in this exhibition, will be the curator for the show at Cairo; and (ii) ‘Tagore on Kantha which includes 13 panels of ‘kantha’ work illustrating Tagore’s short stories, songs, poems, dance dramas all made in the traditional ‘kantha’ style of embroidery practiced to this day by rural women in West Bengal, India and in Bangladesh. Tagore greatly promoted traditional arts and crafts including Kantha work. Kantha work basically uses the ‘running stitch’ to create beautiful motifs on fabric. It was originally used by Bengali women for making quilts from old, worn out saris. The Kantha exhibition has been conceptualized by Ms Shamlu Dudeja who has worked for over 25 years for the revival of kantha work in West Bengal through the setting up of NGOs.
 The two exhibitions are being sponsored by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), New Delhi and have been put together by ICCR’s Rabindranath Tagore Centre in Kolkata. The exhibits are travelling out of India for the first time. The exhibition will run until 17 July, 2011 at the El Bab Gallery.

 For further details, please contact (i) MACIC at: Tel: 23933396 / 23960071; Fax: 23936572; e-mail: macic@indembcairo.com and (ii) on Facebook (Foreign Cultural Relations).

Earlier the same Philatelic Exhibition was held at the Rabindranath Tagore Centre in Calcutta organised by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations, Ministry of External Affairs, Govt of India .Courtesy Sekhar Chakrabarti and Moloy Sarkar.
 It may recalled that the first ever solo philatelic exhibition on Tagore was held by courtesy Sekhar Chakrabarti way back in 1966 organised by Indo-American Society, Calcutta.


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