Home » Celebrating Tagore’s Italian Odyssey: RBU Unveils ‘Rabindranath Tagore in Italy’ Exhibition

Celebrating Tagore’s Italian Odyssey: RBU Unveils ‘Rabindranath Tagore in Italy’ Exhibition

A momentous occasion unfolded as the Rabindra Bharati Museum in Jorasanko inaugurated the Permanent Exhibition of ‘Rabindranath Tagore in Italy’ on December 11, 2023. The inauguration ceremony was graced by the Consul General of Italy in Kolkata, Gianluca Rubagotti, and the Vice Chancellor of Rabindra Bharati University, Mr. Subhro Kamal Mukherjee.

The permanent gallery at Rabindra Bharati Museum is meticulously crafted as an experiential journey, delving into Tagore’s significant time in Italy and the enduring bond between Italy and his legacy at RBU and VBU.

The primary goal of the gallery is to celebrate the profound connection between Tagore and Italy, shedding light on the events and experiences during his three visits to the country. Visuals and quotes provide a comprehensive glimpse into the places and times, illustrating the enduring link between Italian scholars and artists with the Tagore Family, RBU, and Vishwa Bharati University.

Ambassador of Italy, H. E. Vincenzo De Luca, expressed, “Tagore is one of the most beloved non-Italian poets in my country. Italian readers continue to admire his depiction of nature and its relation with humanity, as well as the universal spirit transpiring through his poems. We deemed it essential to create a space inside his house-museum to help viewers discover not only what the great poet did in Italy but also understand the links and interactions between our two cultures.”

A dedicated team, in collaboration with Rabindra Bharati University, led by Dr. Baisakhi Mitra and Prof. Mario Prayer from La Sapienza University of Rome, orchestrated the content and display of the Gallery. Consul General Gianluca Rubagotti visited the museum in Shantiniketan to collect pictures of Tagore during his stays in different Italian cities, while Sonia Guha curated the exhibition design with an innovative approach to displaying various materials.

The gallery’s four walls tell a poignant narrative – ‘Tagore Speaks,’ featuring his quotes, allowing visitors to see Italy through his eyes; ‘Italy Speaks,’ showcasing selected publications highlighting Tagore’s popularity in Italy; and a framed poem dedicated to Italy, along with Formichi’s translation, adorned with motifs from Shantiniketan leather craft and Italian architecture.

The final wall delves into the World of Creatives inspired by Rabindranath Tagore. Embracing the heritage status and age of the building, minimal intervention was employed, respecting Italy’s commitment to the conservation of built and cultural heritage.

Mr. Subhro Kamal Mukherjee, Vice Chancellor of RBU, expressed, “It is an honor to have collaborated with the Italian Government on this project. We believe that this gallery will provide profound insight into Tagore’s work during his visits to Italy.”

The inauguration was elevated by the dance performance of Ileana Citaristi, the first dancer of foreign origin to receive the Padma Shri, and an Italian Odissi and Chhau dancer.

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