Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Friday inaugurated the ‘International Craft Summit’, the first of its kind confluence of pioneering craftspeople, culture and art enthusiasts, in Jajpur, about 100 km from here.
Delegates from 15 countries have arrived in Jajpur to engage with local artisans and other stake holders, an official said.
Four UN agencies and five UNESCO Creative Cities have partnered with Jajpur district administration for the event, he said.
Inaugurating the Craft Summit in the virtual mode, Patnaik said it is a historic occasion for Odisha. “Jajpur was the ancient capital of Odisha. With its existing assets of religious tourism, urban tourism and Buddhist tourism it has the potential to be a major tourist hub. The cultural heritage of Jajpur is reflected in its vibrant art forms.” The state, he said, is developing mechanisms for holistic development of tourism, handloom and handicrafts sectors.
Speaking on the cultural splendour of the state, Patnaik said “Odisha is an illustrious land of immaculate art and crafts. Our civilisational journey is a journey of our artistic culture. The artistic skills of our craftsmen are reflected in numerous ways. You can find it in our temples, our sculptures, Buddhist shrines, hand-woven clothes, patta paintings, wood works, metal works, everywhere.” Every village, every lane in Odisha exhibits some form of art or craft. “The soul of Odisha lives in our art, craft, music and culture” and the Odisha government is making concerted efforts to develop the state as a global hot spot for tourists, provide livelihood and employment opportunities and make the state attractive for investors, he said. The state has put in place various policies such as those on tourism, handicraft, apparel and technical textiles. ”We are also opening art galleries at different places, organising heritage walks and taking many other initiatives to promote tourism and culture,” Patnaik said.
Junhi Han, chief of UNESCO culture sector for South Asian countries appreciated the efforts for promotion of local art, artists and artisans.
Bollywood actor Dia Mirza was present at the programme.