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Address by the President of the Republic on the occasion of the Inauguration of the Exhibition

Wednesday 15 September 2010 at 1500 hrs
Mauritius Museums Council Exhibition Gallery
Mauritius Institute Building, Port Louis

H.E. the High Commissioner of India

The Chairperson of the Mauritius Museums Council

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good afternoon to all of you.  I thank the High Commissioner of India for having invited me and my wife to the inauguration of this Exhibition, organised in collaboration with the Indira Gandhi Centre for Indian Culture.

Mural paintings are considered as a distinct type of artistry, and India has one of the finest traditions of mural paintings, coming from ancient times.  Those who have been to India will know.  These works of art are really impressive.  Although mural paintings are spread throughout India, the most famous place is the Ajanta caves, which depicts the earliest surviving paintings of the historic period.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
We must be thankful to the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, which has so generously agreed to send these photographs to Mauritius.  I know beforehand that something wonderful is awaiting us.  The richness of the mural paintings, be it in colours, expressions, stylisation and abstraction are something to be admired and appreciated.  I am informed that some of these paintings were made between the 2nd Century B.C and the 5th Century A.D.  I am also informed that these paintings reveal a highly developed tradition which spread to every corner of the subcontinent.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Arts have always fascinated the lives of human beings.  The exhibition, you will see, is the work of our forefathers which has been brought to us through one of the most renowned photographer of low-light photography, Mr Benoy K. Behl.  The Mural paintings, you are about to see, are from the deep caves and temples in remote corners of India.  This is a golden opportunity and I invite the public to visit this exhibition and take pride in the work of the great artists that were our forefathers.  Some of these paintings describe the stories of great kings and rulers.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This exhibition is a smart way to promote cultural exchange between the Indian Subcontinent and our island.  As President of the Republic, I welcome this initiative and I thank the Indian High Commissioner and all those who have been associated with the organisation of this event.

I shall now proceed with the inauguration and I thank you for your attention.

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