Kerala to probe fund use for Kochi art festival

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 29, 2012 03:50 hrs

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 28 (IANS) The Kerala government Wednesday ordered a vigilance probe into the misuse of funds meant for the much−hyped Kochi−Muziris Biennale 2012 art festival to be held at Kochi next month and decided not to sanction any more funds for it.

Speaking to reporters after the weekly cabinet meeting Wednesday, Minister for Culture K.C. Joseph said the previous Left government had sanctioned Rs.5 crore for the event.

"A finance inspection wing report on the use of the money by the organisers of the festival revealed that the event was being organised by a private trust," said Joseph.

"It has also been decided to withdraw all government nominees in the Kochi Biennale Foundation Trust or in the committee and the organisers have been directed not to use the Kerala government logo or the logo of the Kerala Lalitha Kala Academy," said Joseph.

The cabinet also decided that no more funds would be given to the organisers but said that they could use the state government−owned venue free of cost.

Kochi−Muziris Biennale has been billed as the largest and most sophisticated international art festival showcasing artwork since 1895, being held in the country for the first time.

This event is the only destination in India mentioned in the "13 cultural events to be seen" by the Forbes magazine and is scheduled to be launched Dec 12 at Kochi.

The three−month long art show will have 88 artists from over 35 countries, including 40 from India, exhibiting artwork from a variety of mediums.

After the report of the finance inspection wing was leaked out to the media, local artistes criticised the organisers.

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