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PM’s gift to President Francois Hollande

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, during his visit to France, gifted the French President a painting titled Tree of Life, reflecting traditional societal respect for nature in India. France will be hosting the meeting of Conference of Parties on UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2015. The tree as a divine gift central to human life is a recurring element in Indian artistic practice. The Tree of Life, with multiple roots and branches like a banyan tree, is a motif for a tree’s benevolence, fruit, seeds, shelter, healing, procreation and regeneration faculties that sustain life and clean the environment.

The painting (pigments on silk) has been done by an Odisha artist, Bhaskar Mahapatra, who has been practicing the art form for the last thirty years along with the rest of his family, and works from his home in the heritage crafts village of Raghurajpur. Bhaskar Mahapatra, who has been honoured by Lalit Kala Akademi, is inspired by his training and expertise in palm leaf painting and pattachitra.