Monday, December 18, 2006


A French City Engages in the Indian Experience for European Visitors

PARIS, FRANCE, December 11, 2006: The city of Lille in northern France will be focusing on Indian contemporary and traditional culture for the next three months. A French organizer of the festival says, " We have been working with hundreds of Indian artists from Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta and Madras who have been coming and going. At the end of three months we will have met 500 artists." As a result the news release explains, "Nitin Desai's giant elephants line the streets, the bookshops look more Indian than French and the Lille railway station dazzles like the Mysore palace at night. The most popular exhibition so far has been Bombay Maximum City inspired by the title of Suketa Mehta's book and it gives the visitor the total Bombay experience. It has simulated marine drive to dabbawallahs to Bollywood style bathrooms to Dharavi - and contemporary art to the local train journey. The magnificent Lille Opera has hosted several Indian dance theatre and music recitals, but it was Bollywood's golden voice Asha Bhosle who's mesmerized." The article says that the city will be spending eight million euros on the project. An Indian visitor sums up the experience, "I think its very cleverly done to catch sights sounds and smells of India all in one small place is incredibly intelligent."


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