Tharoor suggests tax incentives for cultural events

Shashi Tharoor MP views an art work exhibited at Aspinwall House, Fort Kochi.

Kochi: Former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor on Friday lauded the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) 2014 “for the interest it has generated among the common people.” He said that a public-private partnership should emerge to make funding for cultural events easier.

“People are talking with increasing excitement about the Biennale and eminent cultural figures are flocking here,” said Tharoor, who was on the advisory board of the first Biennale.

“I find that it is stimulating for the mind and I am excited about the interest shown in the exhibition by people from every walk of life,” he said. Tharoor said that the KMB runs on “modest government support and some generous artistic support.” He suggested that there needs to be a “government policy that will make funding attractive, through tax incentives”.

“This is set in a splendid corner of Kerala and not only does it place Kerala and India on the global cultural map, but it is also building a global platform here, with works from the US, China, Portugal and many other countries,” said Tharoor.

The Congress MP, who represents Thiruvananthapuram in the Lok Sabha, visited Aspinwall with MLAs Hibi Eden and Dominic Presentation. He was accompanied by his mother and Hibi’s family. He was guided through the installations by Biennale director Bose Krishnamachari and director of programmes Riyas Komu.

He surveyed each of these keenly and noted that “water scarcity is a real fear of our times” as he viewed the work of Swiss artist Marie Velardi, titled ‘Future Perfect, 21st century’, which picks out scenarios of the future from sci-fi literature.

Tharoor was supposed to give a talk on 'Art and culture in India: Is public private partnership the way.' However the talk was cancelled in the wake of the recent developments.