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ART AND CULTURE - February 2020

Feb 2020

Feb 29, 2020

Crystal Palace's Lifesize Dinosaurs Added to Heritage at Risk Register

  • Dinosaurs are once again facing an extinction threat. Not a giant meteor this time but changing water levels threatening a Victorian Jurassic park that has fascinated and thrilled generations of visitors for 166 years.
  • Historic England announced that it is adding the Crystal Palace dinosaurs to its heritage at risk register, worried by large cracks appearing in some of the 30 lifesize statues that were part of a pioneering project to educate and entertain people about natural science.
  • The dinosaur and extinct animal sculptures were created by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, one of the finest natural history artists of the Victorian era. Given that the term dinosaur had only been coined 10 years previously, it is not difficult to imagine the excitement and wonder they caused.

Feb 24, 2020

India Seeks Return of Tamil Statue in Oxford

  • India asked the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford to return a 15th century bronze statue of Tamil poet Tirumankai Alvar, which was reportedly stolen from a temple in Kumbakonam in the Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu in the 1960s.
  • The museum, which bought the statue in a London auction in 1967, informed the Indian High Commission in December that new research questioned its provenance. According to Rahul Nagare, first secretary, the mission had received a report from the Tamil Nadu police that unambiguously shows that the original idol was stolen and replaced with a fake one and that the stolen idol is the same one that is with the Ashmolean.

Feb 17, 2020

Modi Inaugurates 'Kashi Ek Roop Anek' Exhibition in Varanasi

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated 'Kashi Ek Roop Anek', a cultural arts and handicrafts exhibition, at the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Hastkala Sankul.
  • He evinced keen interest in the products on display as he went around several stalls and personally interacted with buyers and artisans coming from different countries, including the US, England and Australia.
  • 'Kashi Ek Roop Anek' showcased products from over 10,000 artisans from all over Uttar Pradesh.
  • Artistes and weavers at the two-day event would impart skills for improving the quality and branding of their wares suitable for the larger national and international markets.
  • There are 23 lakh artisans and weavers residing in Uttar Pradesh. Of these, about 35,800 artisans and 1.5 lakh weavers stay in Varanasi alone.
  • The Uttar Pradesh government had launched the ambitious scheme 'One District, One Product' (ODOP) in which one craft per district was identified.

Feb 11, 2020

Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat Campaign launched to build a cultural connect between different regions

  • Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat Campaign organised by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry began across the country. It will continue until the 28th of this month.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi had mooted the idea of a cultural connection between different regions during the Rashtriya Ekta Divas held in 2015. The broad objectives of Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat include celebrating the Unity in Diversity of our nation and promoting the spirit of national integration through engagement between all states and union territories.
  • Under the campaign, various programmes are being conducted in Kerala. The Nehru Yuva Kendra, Kerala zone is organizing  Himachal Pradesh-Kerala, interstate youth exchange programmes in Kozhikode district. 

Hunar Haat in Indore to continue till Feb 16

  • In Madhya Pradesh, Governor Lalji Tandon has inaugurated Hunar Haat in Indore. It will continue till 16th of February.
  • Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi was also present on this occasion. 

Feb 10, 2020

Tughlaq-era Mosque Set to Get a Facelift

  • xTucked away in a quiet corner of Sri Aurobindo Road in South Delhi, is a large rubble-built mosque that gives the surrounding village its name. The Begampur mosque, with its striking row of domes, had recently been damaged when a part of a dome came crashing down in January. Following the incident, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has decided to take up this Tughlaq-era mosque for conservation, which is scheduled to begin very soon.
  • The immediate plan is to strengthen parts of the domes and roof that are in poor condition. But we are also making a long-term conservation plan, which will be carried out over two or three years. During this period, we will focus on restoring the domes, flooring, and also ensure encroachments are prohibited," said Gunjan Srivastava, superintending archaeologist, ASI (Delhi circle).
  • The Begampur mosque is one of the seven built by Khan-i-Jahan Junan Shah, who was 14th century ruler Feroze Shah Tughlaq's prime minister. The structure, which rises from a high plinth, consists of a large courtyard, enclosed by arched cloisters on the sides and a three-aisle deep prayer hall. The façade of the prayer hall is broken by 24 arched openings.
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