A conclave of the art fraternity has requested the State Government to immediately release Rs 5 crore to the Kochi-Muziris Biennale to overcome the financial hurdle.

The government had said in the assembly after the elections last year that an additional Rs 5 crore would be given to the biennale, the Delhi-based artist Vivan Sundaram said at a symposium held at the Aspinwall House, venue of the biennale.

The Kochi Biennale Foundation had received a government aid of Rs 5 crore during the tenure of the previous government to help the international contemporary art show.

There is a need for a signature campaign to put “full pressure” on the State Government so that the biennale was given additional funds to tide over the serious financial hurdles. The new financial support to the biennale will not only help the current edition, but will create a base for the next biennale, he said.

The appeal for funds for the cash-strapped Kochi Biennale Foundation, the organiser of the art extravaganza, comes in the midst of burgeoning interest and increasing footfalls of visitors.

The increase in visitors has prompted the organisers to go for weekly maintenance of the sites and, thus, close the event for the public on all Mondays till the concluding day on March 13.

Notable among the visitors included writers M. Mukundan, T.P. Rajeevan, Kalpetta Narayanan, V.K. Sreeraman, Rafiq Ahamad, painters Bara Bhaskaran and Kavitha Balakrishnan, besides Vice Admiral Satish Soni, chief of the Southern Naval Command. Bollywood actor John Abraham also visited Aspinwall House.

“The biennale gives us a chance to take a close look at world art. Changing technology has its bearing on art as well. We have altered our impression about art in times of advancing technology,” Mukundan said.

A delegation from Punjab Tourism, led by the department’s Principal Secretary Geetika Kalha, visited the venues. The team included Punjab Heritage Tourism Promotion Board Executive Director Vidya Bhushan Kumar and Managing Director Suneet Tiyana.

sajeevkumar.v@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 16, 2012)
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