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Updated: January 8, 2013 13:00 IST

Mani hints at more aid for biennale

Special Correspondent
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Minister of Finance K.M. Mani. File Photo: S. Mahinsha
Minister of Finance K.M. Mani. File Photo: S. Mahinsha

KOCHI-MUZIRIS BIENNALE 2012 The help from the government would now be "not just moral, but also monetary"

The Kochi-Muziris Biennale, in a communication on Monday, claimed that Minister of Finance K.M. Mani, who visited biennale venue Aspinwall House for an hour on Monday evening, had made an offer of ‘renewed financial support’ from the government to the three-month event. The help from the government would now be “not just moral, but also monetary”, the release quoted Mr. Mani as stating.

However, the Minister told The Hindu over telephone a while later that there was no concrete move as of now to provide immediate monetary assistance to the cash-strapped art jamboree. “The State government has already supported it financially. It was a goodwill gesture on my part to visit the biennale and understand its potential,” he maintained.

On his apparent promise of further funding, Mr. Mani said he was only responding to a query from a journalist. “I said given the potential of the event, the government would consider extending all possible support to it…. If there’s a concrete proposal for additional monetary assistance, we will look into it,” he said on the phone.

Riyas Komu, co-curator of the biennale, told The Hindu that the Minister’s assurance of all possible support to the fete came as a huge relief. “It is heartening that the Minister has understood the biennale’s potential and range. It has come in recognition of the efforts put in by us and boosts the event’s sustainability,” he remarked.

Human bond: Tharoor

Earlier in the day, Union Minister of State for Human Resources Development Shashi Tharoor spoke on ‘Globalisation and the Human Imagination’ at Aspinwall House. He pointed to the immense relevance and prominence of art events like the biennale in times of unease and animosity between countries and communities.

Cultural festivals like the biennale would help people know what others do for them, thus cement a human bond, a biennale communiqué quoted Mr. Tharoor.

“But for globalisation, our imagination would have shrunk. It had been helping people explore their own identity and expand their mental horizon, he said.

Mr. Tharoor reportedly noted that terrorist organisations had been trying to muzzle and assault the human imagination in the post-liberalisation world. The 9/11 attack in the U.S. and the 26/11 strikes in Mumbai had led to communal friction and social tensions. Globalisation had withstood their pressures, and continued to benefit mankind, he added.

Press Secretary to President of India Venu Rajamony; Indian Council for Cultural Relations Director-General Suresh K Goel; V.S. Sunilkumar, MLA; filmmaker T.V. Chandran; and artist C.N. Karunakaran spent time at the biennale on Monday.

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