Architectural heritage of Kolkata is wonderful: Maecker
Kolkata: The architectural heritage of Kolkata is wonderful and unparallelled, German government's cultural centre, Goethe-Institut Kolkata, director Friso Maecker has said.
He also stressed the need to preserve and put to creative use old mansions in both countries (India and Germany.
"The architectural heritage we have in the city is wonderful and is unparalleled... Two weeks back we (Goethe Institut) moved ourselves into the heritage building Park Mansions, a historic landmark in the city," Maecker said.
"I still believe unless we acknowledge where we come from we cannot progress into our own future," he said.
Maecker was present at 'Response : Installations and New Media Art Exhibition' organised by CIMA art gallery at an abandoned single screen building Gem Cinema here. Gem cinema had previously been a popular destination for cinegoers in the city having screened many blockbusters.
He said the Goethe Institute had already taken many initiatives in using abandoned old structures in the city - like organising shows in jute mills and "We will definitely continue using old spaces." "Here I am here as we support CIMA's initiatives." The institute had also been holding bilateral exchanges for last 60 years and, "We regularly send artists to Germany for residency programmes," Maecker said.
The director of Goethe-Institut Kolkata said after the fall of Berlin Wall, Germany could preserve many dilapidated old buildings of the city (Berlin) which was earlier not possible because of the border which went through the city.
Many old buildings could not have been put to better use for so many years because of the Berlin wall which existed for years dividing the city and country, he said.
"Now for over 25 years in past, many of these places have found new usage, many have been preserved....old buildings remain and we find new ways of preserving them." he said about the situation in Germany.
British Council East Director Dipanjan Chakrabarti said the initiative to hold the multimedia exhibition of 36 artists from all parts of the country will in future lead to involvement of people in neighbourhood to help preserve the place and it can be a movement.
"We had seen similar things in South Bank of London," he said.Film maker Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury said, "It is a unique attempt to create an interactive artistic environment, in a closed single screen."
Painter Samir Aich, whose elephant figure was among the installations, said, "It is interesting to see that a contemporary art show beyond films, theatre is taking place in a single screen using different mediums."