Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: Governor Surjit Singh Barnala on Monday inaugurated ‘Poetry in Bronze’ — an exhibition of award winning artefacts in bronze — organised by Srushti, the Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Artisans Welfare Association. He spent some time seeing the sculptures at the exhibition and felicitated the award-winning craftspersons.

“Investment for a bronze sculpture is high and returns within a period of time are not assured. The rising prices of casting materials have affected us,” said D. Jagadeesan, President of Srushti.

The bronze casting craft originated during the Indus valley civilisation and endured the test of time, said K. Mohan Raj an iconography research expert. “Many bronze artisans using the ‘lost wax process’ are found in Choolai, Kattankulathur in Chengalpattu district, and Jeevanandam street in Erode,” he said. “The export of handicrafts touched Rs.20,697 crore in India. We are aiming at achieving Rs.50,000 crore by 2009-10,” said A.R. Chaudhuri, Director, (Southern Region), in the office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) here. Indian export of handicrafts accounts for only two per cent of the total world export of handicrafts and China contributes 30 per cent.