Activists back Paris show

Tasneem Khalil

Tasneem Khalil

[Dhaka Correspondent] The scheduled display of archaeological artifacts in Paris will brighten the image of Bangladesh and the government should take proper initiatives in this matter, said Ain-o-Salish Kendra executive director Sultana Kamal Saturday.

“We want such cultural exchange programmes to be held in a proper way. We request the government to clarify the controversy over this issue,” Sultana said at a news briefing at the Liberation War Museum in Dhaka. Organized under the banner of “Socio-cultural and green activists for conservation and dissemination of archaeological artifacts,” the briefing was attended by human rights activist Hamida Hossain, Professor Anisuzzaman, thespian Aly Zaker, Parvin Hasan of Dhaka University, and social activists Rubi Ghaznabi and Abu Naser Khan.

Sultana said, “We believe the reasons which have held the artifacts from being sent to Paris are not valid. The exchange programme is required to draw the attention of the world to our cultural heritage.”

Anisuzzaman said, “Fears that have stopped the sending of the artifacts to Paris are not convincing. We will be benefited from the exhibition. The government should make it clear to people. We think it is impossible to steal any artifacts during the display at the Guimet Museum.’

Aly Zaker said they had organized the briefing to inform the people that Bangladeshi cultural heritage needed to be exposed to the world. “We also want assurance from the government that the artifacts will be sent properly.”

Organizers said there is no legal restriction on sending the artifacts to other countries for display. They thought that the amount of insurance money was fixed on a comparative market study. They said the agreement was signed between the governments of Bangladesh and France. They also said they did not know of any incident of stealing artifacts from any international exhibition in half a century.