Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has scheduled a trip to Italy in mid-June to promote business ties and present a case for the socio-economic growth of the city.
A set of 60 stills will be packed off to the ambassador of India in Rome, to be displayed at two exhibitions in Rome and Naples during Bhattacharjee’s visit from June 10 to 13. The photographs will be of Calcutta landmarks, like Victoria Memorial, Millennium Park, Tagore’s Jorasanko house, National Library, Nandan, Vidyasagar Setu and Science City, apart from New Market and Writers’ Buildings.
The idea is to represent the juxtaposition of the traditional and the modern that is representative of the city today. The photographs will underline that while retaining its rich cultural heritage, the state has not been averse to accept the growing economic changes.
A trip that is being strictly projected as an “all-business-no-pleasure” tour, has on the itinerary halts at Milan, Rome and Florence. “Given his hectic schedule, the chief minister might not be able to attend the exhibitions personally,” admitted Arun Bhattacharya, Bhattacharjee’s principal secretary. But the photographs are expected to lure a sizeable audience and business prospects.
The trip intends to woo investors to the state, with leather, agro-processing, infotech, fashion, gems and jewellery, tourism and chemicals as the thrust areas. The cultural scenario, too, will be projected.
Italians have already had a preview just about three months ago. The Satyajit Ray archive had hosted an exhibition of stills on the maestro, as well as some on Calcutta, during the Asiatica Film Festival in Rome, pointed out Anshu Sur, Nandan director. The festival also screened Mrinal Sen’s Calcutta 71, Ray’s Mahanagar and Jamaibabu, from the silent era.
The new set of photographs to coincide with the chief minister’s trip are courtesy the Victoria Memorial and Town Hall. They are not on display in Calcutta. Some are from old collections and some newly-taken.