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05 Jun 2023, 01:22 HRS IST
  • PTI
  • Programme to celebrate India, France ties

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21:11 HRS IST

Kolkata, Jan 4 (PTI) 'Bonjour India 2017-18', a four-month voyage to celebrate the cultural ties between India and France will reach West Bengal tomorrow with a conservation project at Chandernagore, a former French colony about 35 km from the city.

French Consul General in Kolkata Damien Syed TODAY said as part of 'Bonjour India' a project 'Know your French Heritage' would be undertaken to restore French heritage buildings by involving local population.

UNESCO awardee and conservation architech Aishwarya Tipnis is collaborating with Institut Francais of Chandernagore and French consulate to restore the French registry office in Chandernagore with a group of students from both countries as a pilot project, Syed said.

The treasury building, situated at a corner of the Strand Road is one of the oldest French buildings in Chandernagore, Tipnis said.

"In line with the present heritage conservation practice worldwide we believe in direct involvement of the local community in any restoration drive," he said.

The building is among the seven declared heritage buildings by the Heritage Commission of West Bengal, the consul general said adding that if they were allowed to be ruined the erstwhile French colony would lose its unique identity.

"We will also be conducting walking tours, site visits, 48-hour design hackathon in the town which will end with a workshop attended by local community members at Kanailal Vidya Mandir on January 12," he said.

The 'Bonjour India' programme will cover 33 cities of the country. Its Bengal leg will start at Chandernagore and then move to the city, where it will hold cultural programmes involving groups from France at the Appejay Kolkata Literary Festival on January 11, a Poetry Cafe on January 13, night-long literary festivals by artistes from France and other counries at the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Festival.

On January 27-28 there wll be the inuguration of French pavilion by French Cultural minister Francoise Nyssen at the Kolkata Book Fair on January 30 and thespian Soumitra Chatterjee will be accorded France's highest civilian award Legion of Honour.

Renowned French music troupe Mezcal Jazz will perform with percussionist Bickram Ghsh on February 4.

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