French writer to curate exhibition on Shivaji

11 10 2007

French writer to curate exhibition on Shivaji
Will Highlight Unknown Facts About Warrior King
Anuradha Mane TNN

10th Oct 2007 PUNE

Pune: Much has been said and written about Maratha warrior-king Chattrapati Shivaji, but considering the far-reaching reign of Shivaji and his life as a warrior, much is yet to meet the public eye. That’s what Delhi-based French writerjournalist Francois Gautier hopes to bring to Indians. In a yet-to-be titled exhibition on the warrior king, Gautier is getting together rare sketches, paintings and scriptures that depict the vision of Shivaji. “As a journalist, I have been covering India for 25 years now. Shivaji, of all historical icons, impresses me because of his nationmaking vision. He was an idealist and India really needs that spirit today,” said Gautier, who is currently the editor of French newspaper ‘La Revue L’Inde’. Explaining why the exhibition will start in Pune, Gautier states that Pune is where Shivaji grew up and where his legacy runs strongest. The exhibition will begin in Pune in February 2008 and return to Pune after travelling to other places in the country. Speaking about the aspects that will be highlighted, Gautier says, “On numerous occasions, he set before others examples of courage and resourcefulness, such as in his night attack on Shaista Khan in Pune (1663) and in manoeuvring his escape from Agra (1666). He also personified self-respect with his proud and dignified conduct at Agra- the proudest court of that time.” Shivaji’s vision in building a chain of mountain and sea forts and his humility when in the company of saints like Tukaram and Samarth Swami Ram Das will also be depicted in the exhibition. But the main reason why Gautier feels he can undertake such an exhibition, in spite of being a foreigner is because he has a fresh view of Shivaji. “Not having political alliances would help me in this case. And there have been controversies about Shivaji, but I really do not want to get into it. That apart, I have the courage and forthrightness to do justice to this topic,” he said. In Pune, Gautier is taking help from historians Ninad Bedekar, Babasaheb Purandare and Gajanan Mehendale. While Gautier himself has been reading extensively on the topic, he also has a team of researchers in the University of Rajasthan and painters who will help document the life of Shivaji. Gautier is already involved in setting up a Rs 200 crore project on Indian history in Pune named the India Memory Foundation (IMF).

A sketch depicting Shivaji leading his troops that will be exhibited

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Rs 200 crore museum to come up in city (pune)

19 09 2007

Pune is being honoured again, because of its rich culture and convenient location. The city has been chosen to house a Rs 200 crore project on Indian history. Called the India Memory Foundation (IMF), it will showcase both India over the centuries including Vedic knowledge and the India of tomorrow. Behind the effort is a Frenchman, journalist Francois Gautier, who will raise the funds from private donors.

The project is located on an acre of land near Lohegaon airport and will be ready in the next two years.

THE PROJECT, WHICH IS ALSO TO COVER THE INDIA OF TOMORROW, WILL BE HOUSED ON AN ACRE OF LAND NEAR LOHEGAON AIRPORT

There will be a phase-wise construction, starting with a painting exhibition on Chhatrapati Shivaji that will be ready by 2008. “My aim is to take a frank look at India’s history over the centuries. Not too much is spoken about Vedic history, astrology and maths. I want to highlight those aspects. Also, we want to show how India has been envisioned by Aurobindo, Lokmanya Tilak, Swami Vivekanand and others. Hence, the focus will be on the India of tomorrow,” says Gautier, who has initiated the museum through his organisation, Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism (FACT).

There will be special sections on China and Tibet in reference to India’s cultural, social, political and social changes that will be a crucial part of this interactive museum.

Seven projects for the IMF are underway — an exhibit on the plight of the Kashmiri Pandits which was a much-lauded effort, an exhibition on the persecution of Christians, Buddhists, Amadya Muslims and Hindu minorities in Bangladesh, a painting exhibition on Aurangzeb based on Mughal records and documents and another one on the birth of Sikhism. Most importantly, an exhibition on Shivaji and two films — one on the 1947 Partition holocaust and the other on the poor condition of Brahmins and other upper castes — are in the production stage and will be ready by early next year. “We plan to have 30 such projects over the next five years,” says Gautier, who will be bringing the Aurangzeb exhibition to Pune in the second week of October. The museum complex will be designed by architect Dharmesh Jadeja using environmentally friendly material like mud bricks, stones and solar energy, that are common in Auroville where Gautier resides. The project is headed by a prestigious Board of Directors comprising Indian Archaeological Society chairman S P Gupta, Indian Council of Philosophical Research chairman Dr Kireet Joshi, Lal Bahadur Shastri Museum director Professor A K Dass and others.

And Pune has been chosen after much deliberation. “Chhatrapati Shivaji grew up here. The city has a rich cultural heritage. But most importantly, it’s centrally located and can be easily accessible from any part of the country,” adds Gautier.

Each of the exhibitions has one researcher. Being essentially travelling exhibitions, they’ll be making the rounds in Indian cities and abroad, before they find a permanent place at the IMF. “I’m even thinking of doing an exhibition on Dara Shikoh, Aurangzeb’s brother,” says Gautier, who is also obtaining research assistance from eminent Pune-based historians like Dr Babasaheb Purandare and Gajanan Mehendale.





Rs.200 cr: museum in pune, Indian History museum

19 09 2007
Pune is being honoured again, because of its rich culture and convenient location. The city has been chosen to house a Rs 200 crore project on Indian history. Called the India Memory Foundation (IMF), it will showcase both India over the centuries including Vedic knowledge and the India of tomorrow. Behind the effort is a Frenchman, journalist Francois Gautier, who will raise the funds from private donors.
The project is located on an acre of land near Lohegaon airport and will be ready in the next two years.
There will be a phase-wise construction, starting with a painting exhibition on Chhatrapati Shivaji that will be ready by 2008. “My aim is to take a frank look at India’s history over the centuries. Not too much is spoken about Vedic history, astrology and maths. I want to highlight those aspects. Also, we want to show how India has been envisioned by Aurobindo, Lokmanya Tilak, Swami Vivekanand and others. Hence, the focus will be on the India of tomorrow,” says Gautier, who has initiated the museum through his organisation, Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism (FACT). There will be special sections on China and Tibet in reference to India’s cultural, social, political and social changes that will be a crucial part of this interactive museum.
Seven projects for the IMF are underway — an exhibit on the plight of the Kashmiri Pandits which was a much-lauded effort, an exhibition on the persecution of Christians, Buddhists, Amadya Muslims and Hindu minorities in Bangladesh, a painting exhibition on Aurangzeb based on Mughal records and documents and another one on the birth of Sikhism. Most importantly, an exhibition on Shivaji and two films — one on the 1947 Partition holocaust and the other on the poor condition of Brahmins and other upper castes — are in the production stage and will be ready by early next year. “We plan to have 30 such projects over the next five years,” says Gautier, who will be bringing the Aurangzeb exhibition to Pune in the second week of October.
The museum complex will be designed by architect Dharmesh Jadeja using environmentally friendly material like mud bricks, stones and solar energy, that are common in Auroville where Gautier resides. The project is headed by a prestigious Board of Directors comprising Indian Archaeological Society chairman S P Gupta, Indian Council of Philosophical Research chairman Dr Kireet Joshi, Lal Bahadur Shastri Museum director Professor A K Dass and others.
And Pune has been chosen after much deliberation. “Chhatrapati Shivaji grew up here. The city has a rich cultural heritage. But most importantly, it’s centrally located and can be easily accessible from any part of the country,” adds Gautier.
Each of the exhibitions has one researcher. Being essentially travelling exhibitions, they’ll be making the rounds in Indian cities and abroad, before they find a permanent place at the IMF. “I’m even thinking of doing an exhibition on Dara Shikoh, Aurangzeb’s brother,” says Gautier, who is also obtaining research assistance from eminent Pune-based historians like Dr Babasaheb Purandare and Gajanan Mehendale.