Public-private partnership key to funding arts: Tharoor

Dated: January 10, 2015

Kochi, Jan 10: Former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, who was visiting the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) 2014 today, hailed its organisers “for the interest it has generated among the common people” and said that a public-private partnership should emerge to make funding for cultural events easier.

“People are talking with increasing excitement about the biennale and eminent cultural figures are flocking here,” said Tharoor, who was on the advisory board of the first biennale. “I find that it is stimulating for the mind and I am excited about the interest shown in the exhibition by people from every walk of life.”

Tharoor noted that the KMB runs on “modest government support and some generous artistic support”, and he suggested that there needs to be “government policy that will make funding attractive, through tax incentives”.

“This is set in a splendid corner of Kerala and not only does it place Kerala and India on the global cultural map, but it is also building a global platform here, with works from the US, China, Portugal, and many other countries,” said Tharoor.

The Congress MP, who represents Thiruvananthapuram in the Lok Sabha, visited Aspinwall with MLAs Hibi Eden and Dominic Presentation. He was accompanied by his mother and Hibi’s family. He was guided through the installations by biennale director Bose Krishnamachari and director of programmes Riyas Komu. He surveyed each of these keenly and noted that “water scarcity is a real fear of our times” as he viewed the work of Swiss artist Marie Velardi, titled ‘Future Perfect, 21st century’, which picks out scenarios of the future from sci-fi literature.

Tharoor, who was originally scheduled to speak on artistic patronage in today’s world at the biennale’s Let’s Talk seminar, said that he would tweet about his visit. His Twitter account has nearly 27 lakh followers.

CB

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