Ambassador inaugurates 4th World Living Heritage Festival
H.E. Mr Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador to France to India, today inaugurated the 4th World Living Heritage Festival here at the Sabhagaar, The Durbar Hall, Fateh Prakash Palace Convention Centre.
Udaipur, 18 October 2018
The Festival, organised by the Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation (MMCF), jointly with UNESCO New Delhi Office, brought together a spectrum of artistes and academicians, activists and student-delegates from India and overseas in Udaipur. Voted among the World’s Best Cities for the third time in 2018 by Travel + Leisure, the city was built by the Maharanas of Mewar in the 16th century, on the banks of Lake Pichola ringed by mountains and hills.
Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Alexandre Ziegler said, “Heritage was at the forefront of the third edition of Bonjour India, a wide-ranging platform organized by the French Embassy, which enhanced Indo-French ties through 300 events in 33 Indian cities, from November 2017 to February 2018. France’s commitment to sharing its expertise in this domain with India as well as learning from it continues through such initiatives. We all know of the fruitful twinning of the City Palace of Udaipur with France’s Domaine National de Chambord. I am honoured to inaugurate the World Living Heritage Festival, which echoes France’s policy of engaging in a joint long-term effort to place tangible and intangible heritage at the heart of sustainable and responsible tourism. I warmly laud Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar’s tireless work towards making Udaipur’s magnificent legacy a living heritage, even as this historic city continues to develop under the Smart Cities Mission.”
Underlining the continuity of French ambassadors participating in preceding editions of the Festival, Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar, Chairman and Managing Trustee of MMCF, said, “We welcome H.E. The Ambassador of France in India, Mr Ziegler, to the city of Udaipur. Our endeavour to put the focus on ‘living heritage’ is now bearing fruit. The 4th World Living Heritage Festival is once again bringing to the centre-stage the significance of living heritage as an integral part of India’s civilizational ethos. As in the past Festivals at Udaipur, our delegates and guests are witnessing the timeless traditions being kept alive in our city and at The City Palace.”
Falling during the period of Navratri, the Festival programme included a host of cultural functions showcasing the talents of both young and veteran artistes, which was a treat for both tourists thronging Udaipur and its residents. The art and crafts bazaar saw master craftsmen from different parts of Rajasthan and India showcase their creations, many of them embellishing their work on site and explaining the process to visitors. A conference dedicated to the Festival’s theme explored the concept of ‘living heritage’ and the relationship between tangible and intangible heritage. Delegates discussed the association of oral history, rites and rituals with historic spaces such as temples, monuments, museums, and public squares of a heritage city.