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30 September 2011

French govt. shows interest in heritage conservation of 2 Madhya Pradesh cities

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By Pervez Bari

Bhopal: The Government of France has shown interest in conservation of ancient heritages in two cities of central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh namely Bhopal and Maheshwar.

Members of a French delegation called on Madhya Pradesh Urban Administration and Development Minister Babulal Gaur here on Wednesday (September 28, 2011) and expressed their interest in this connection. The two-member French delegation comprised of Christian Lee Petit, Managing Director Urban Planning City of Rheims (France) and Benjamin Gestin, Culture Representative at French embassy in India. Ms Protima Dee, Project Manager, UNESCO India, New Delhi also accompanied the French delegation.

The Urban Administration Minister Mr. Gaur accorded a warm welcome to the members of the delegation. The delegation members informed the Urban Administration Minister that the French government is interested in working of projects for conserving and augmenting Bhopal city's ancient heritages like the French city of Rheims. The French government has identified two cities of Madhya Pradesh – Bhopal and Maheshwar – for conservation of their heritages under its Indian Heritage Cities Network (I.H.C.N).

The delegation members informed that the heritage buildings of Bhopal, which will be taken up for conservation and augmentation works, include Sadar Manzil, Pari Bazaar and three ancient reservoirs – Motia Talab, Siddique Hasan Khan Talab and Munshi Hussain Khan Talab.

Mr. Gaur urged the delegation also to undertake conservation and augmentation of Bhopal's famous buildings Taj Mahal, Benazir building and Taj-ul-Masajid as also Gwalior's heritages. The delegation gave assurance in this regard.

It may be mentioned that Urban Administration Minister Mr. Gaur had visited French cities Rheims, Lorient and Paris in September and October 2010. During his visit, Mr. Gaur had expressed desire for chalking out a programme for maintenance of heritages on the lines of Rheims city of France.

[Pervez Bari is a Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He can be contacted at pervezbari@eth.net]

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