‘Biennale helped Kerala’s tourism offset Demonetisation crisis’: Tourism Secretary

Kochi, Dec 20: Terming the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) a “stellar example” of public private partnership, Kerala Tourism Principal Secretary Dr Venu V. said the Biennale had helped the state’s tourism sector offset the crisis brought on by demonetisation.

On a visit to the third edition of the Biennale in Fort Kochi on Monday, Dr Venu said the Rs 7.5 crore that the state government had allotted to the international contemporary art extravaganza in its budget was “money well spent”.

“When Kerala tourism had a crisis on its hands with the demonetisation policy affecting tourist arrivals, the Biennale has single-handedly created a unique economic zone that supported the tourism sector and brought money into the hands of the common man and local community,” he said.

“From a government point of view, I can’t think of a better investment. This speaks volumes for what an event like this can do for tourism and for the economy of a city and state. The government support created a base upon which the curator, the KBF and the Trustees could work on,” the Tourism Secretary said

Apart from its economic contributions and the quality of art on display, the magic of the Biennale has been the connections and sense of fraternity it has managed to form between individuals, communities, groups and institutions, he said. 

“This is not just about art or tourism. It is about the common man of Fort Kochi and Mattancherry and creating the sense of ownership and involvement across sections of people. It has become a model to follow,” Dr Venu said.

National Institute of Fashion Technology Director-General Sarada Muraleedharan also visited KMB 2016 on Monday and noted that the current edition of the Biennale has touched many thought-provoking subjects.

Likening the works to a “painting with several different stories put together”, she said, “The works at KMB 2016 is a reflection of many issues that is prevailing in the world. The themes I am seeing develop in this disconnected continuum are of disruption, disassociation, of pain, angst, loss and longing.”


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