9th Biannual International Congress on Bengal Art in Dhaka | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 08, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 08, 2011

9th Biannual International Congress on Bengal Art in Dhaka

The International Centre for Study of Bengal Art (ICSBA) has organised the three day 9th Biannual International Congress on Bengal Art 2011. The first congress was held in 1997.
The opening ceremony of this year's congress was held on February 5 at the main auditorium of National Museum, Shahbagh in Dhaka. The congress features seminars and discussions, which are being held simultaneously at three venues -- National Museum, Mainamati and BRAC CDM (Centre for Development and Management) in Savar.
Professor Dr. Susan Huntington presented the keynote paper at the opening session. The subject was “Bengal's Influence Abroad: Atisa (Dipankara Shrijnana) and the Bengal Legacy”. The paper discusses works of art in the western Tibetan cultural region of Ladakh (India).
The participating speakers are Dr. Christiance Papa-Kalantari (Principal Researcher, Austrian Academy of Sciences); Dr. Heinrich Poell (Project Manager, FFA Consulting Group); Dr. Karen Weissenborn (University of Vienna, Austria); Dr. Ritta Datta (The Indian Museum); Dr. Andrea Seabury Loseries (Professor, Department of Indo-Tibetan Studies, Visva-Bharati) and others.
On the occasion of the congress, the ICSBA conferred honorary fellowships to four distinguished individuals for their remarkable contribution to respective fields.
This year's fellowships went to Professor Murtaja Basheer in the field of art and research on coins of medieval of Bengal (His work “Mudra o Shila Lipir Aloke Banglar Hafsi Sultan O Tothkalin Samaj” was published in 2004); Dr. Dipak Ranjan Das in the field of research on temple architecture; Gerd Mevissen for research on Hindu, Buddhist sculptures and Shahab Sattar for his contribution as an art connoisseur.
The earlier recipients of ICSBA honorary fellowship were Professor A.H. Dani; Dr. Debala Mitra; Professor Abdul Karim; Professor Mamtazur Rahman Tarafdar; Professor Kalyan Kumar Ganguly; Professor B.N. Mukherjee; Dr. Gourishwar Bhattacharya; Robert Skelton; Professor Fredrick M. Asher; Dr. George Michell; Professor Claudine Bautze-Picron and others.
Dr. Enamul Haque, chairperson and academic director of the ICSBA, is a man with a mission -- to promote and popularise the ancient and medieval art of Bangladesh and eastern India. The organisation is dedicated to investigation in the fields of archaeology, architecture, sculpture, painting, epigraphy, numismatics, religion, ethnography and the spectrum of folk and decorative arts.
Haque said, “The facilities to conduct research on Bengal art in Bangladesh are relatively insufficient. The territory of historic Bengal lies partitioned between India and Bangladesh. It is a well known fact that for one or the other reasons the archaeological and historical sites and monuments as well as the few public and private collections of art objects and related institutions, are quite inaccessible to researchers from either side of the international border.
With a view to facilitate research on Bengal art, Enamul Haque and Professor Zulekha Haque (former chairperson Department of History, Eden Girls College, Dhaka) donated their entire library along with the rich visual archives to be used as the nucleus of a research centre.

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