As many as 350 artists from around the world are expected to participate in a 13-day painting camp being organised by the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi from May 13 to transform Kottayam into a mural city.

Mural paintings drawn by the artists will become permanent exhibits at public places all over the town including the railway station, temples, churches and public halls, Minister for Culture K. C. Joseph said at a press conference here on Monday.

Rs.1.5-crore project

The project estimated to cost Rs.1.5 crore would signal the renaissance of art in Kerala and provide a unique position for Kottayam on India’s tourism map, he said.

Mr. Joseph said the programme would culminate with the government dedicating Kottayam to the nation as a mural city on May 25.

Artists from Kerala, Rajasthan, Kashmir, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Assam, Punjab, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh would be joined by others from Italy, Germany, Mexico, Tibet, Korea, Japan, America, Switzerland and Portugal, in a demonstration of different styles of mural paintings.

The painting camp would be preceded by an event to demonstrate the traditional methods of making the five primary natural colours that constitute the base of mural paintings.

Named Panchavarnam, it would provide a visual experience of making colours by grinding colourful natural stones, squeezing the sap from plants and collecting the soot from burning lamps.

Artists would also demonstrate traditional methods of preparing a wall for a mural painting.

Chairman of the Akademi K. A. Francis said the camp was designed to create awareness about the art of mural painting.

Heritage museums

The Minister said the government had completed the ground work for the establishment of heritage museums in all districts.

“A cartoon museum is coming up at Kayamkulam and work on setting up a Malabar Cultural Village at Beypore has been initiated. Sreekantapuram in Kannur district will be the venue of a Kalagramam (Art Village) where artists can reside and come up with creative work”.

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