Press release: A photo exhibition celebrating 70 years of Nepal-France relationship opens on September 17th at the Alliance Française

Press release: A photo exhibition celebrating 70 years of Nepal-France (...)

PRESS RELEASE: A photo exhibition celebrating 70 years of Nepal-France relationship opens on September 17th at the Alliance Française

Kathmandu, 17th September 2019:

In a series of programs designed to mark and celebrate the 70 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Nepal and France, the French Embassy and the Alliance Française Katmandou have put together a photo exhibition that will be on display from September 17th until September 30th.

The photo exhibition was inaugurated today (September 17th) by Honourable Madhav Kumar Népal, the Chairperson of Nepal – France Inter Parliamentary Group, in the presence of French Ambassador His Excellency Mr. François-Xavier Léger (फ़्रन्स्वॉ-जाविये लेजे), members of the diplomatic community, representatives of the Government of Nepal, well-wishers of Nepal – France relation, students, artists and representatives from the media.

The photo exhibition has been divided into three sections. The first section of the exhibition looks at the history of the relation that existed before 1949. The second section gives us glimpses of Nepal – France relation after the formal establishment of diplomatic relations in 1949. The final section looks into the successful climbing of Mount Annapurna by the French alpinists, how the French NGOs and associations are involved in Nepal, the economic aspects, major events between Nepal and France etc.

In his opening remarks Ambassador Léger talked about how the Nepal France relation existed way earlier than 1949. He hoped that “through this photo exhibition, we all can look into our past and the root of our relations and find reasons for pride” and noted how “this will also help us better prepare for the future.”

This exhibition has been curated by Cristeena Chitrakar and Swaraj Man Chitrakar and will be on display until September 30th.

End.

Media contact:
Mr. Deepesh Bidari, Chargé de Mission, French Embassy, 01 44 12 332


Opening remarks delivered by Ambassador Léger

Honourable Madhav Kumar Népal, the Chairperson of Nepal – France Inter Parliamentary Group,

Honourable Chiri Babu Maharjan, Mayor of Lalitpur

Mr Rajendra Khetan, the Chairperson of the Board of the Alliance Française Katmandou,

Ms Shrinkhala Khatiwada, the Goodwill Ambassador for the 70th anniversary of Nepal-France diplomatic relations,

Ladies and Gentlemen

Namaskar and good afternoon,

It is my great pleasure to welcome you all here this afternoon. As you all know, 2019 is a special year for us. We are celebrating the 70th anniversary of our diplomatic relations and we are very proud of it. But did you know that our relation did not start in 1949? It started way back during the Malla era because we can see an inscription of the “mysterious French words” dating back to 1654 at Kathmandu Durbar Square!

You will learn such anecdotes and many more in this exposition that we have curated for you. We have tried our best to show you the intense relation that exists between our two countries. You will find photos ranging from the mountains to peacekeeping operations abroad, from Panauti and Salme to high level bilateral visits, from large businesses to associations and NGOs on the field. Through the photo journey, you can also see how our relationship has evolved over time. We hope that through this photo exhibition, we all can look into our past and the root of our relations and find reasons for pride; this will also help us better prepare for the future. In addition, we can also rejoice in the diversity of our past and present relationship in many areas that this photo exhibition will help us to know.

One key objective of this exhibition is to do a research and collect information on our relations from various domains and sources. This kind of exercise also serves to build an archive. Having said that, this is not an exhaustive, academic research work and hence, despite our best efforts, there may be some events/domains that were left out. This is mainly due to two reasons: 1st/ we did not have concrete information or visual elements about them that we could use in this exhibition, and 2nd/ we were simply not aware of them. So, should you have concrete information, photos, videos etc., we would love to have them. Just get in touch with us.

I would like to thank the Chairperson of Nepal – France Inter Parliamentary Group, Honourable Madhav Kumar Nepal, for taking time out of his busy schedule and being with us here today.

I would also like to thank Ms Cristeena Chitrakar, Mr Swaraj Chitrakar and their father, Mr Kiranman Chitrakar, for curating this exhibition. Theirs is a family, who, for generations, has been capturing key moments in Nepali history. One of the cousins of the grandfather of Mr Kiranman Chitrakar had accompanied Prime Minister Jung Bahadur Rana to France, his own grandfather had accompanied Prime Minister Chandra Shumsher to France and Mr Kiranman Chitrakar himself had accompanied King Birendra to France in 1994. And now we have Cristeena and Swaraj curating this exhibition that portrays Nepal-France relationship.

As you may have noticed, we are at the Alliance Française Katmandou which is our key partner for all cultural events and is essential to a successful organization of many events. Thank you Pauline and all the AFK team for their dedication and efficiency!

There are many people involved in a project like this: many have been kind enough to go through their archives, both personal and institutional, and provide us their valuable photos for exhibition, many have contributed in providing detailed information etc. You will see a complete list of all of them in this exhibition also. I thank them all from the bottom of my heart. Dhérai dhérai dhanyabaad.

And lastly, thank YOU for coming here today. I hope you will enjoy this exhibition as much as we have enjoyed putting it together, and please pass a word about this photo exhibition to your friends and family since this will remain open until September 30th.
Namaskar and enjoy the afternoon.

- François-Xavier Léger

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Last updated on: 19 September 2019
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