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Kochi-Muziris Biennale draws to a close

Kochi-Muziris Biennale draws to a close

Kochi: Curtains will come down Sunday on the three-month long art extravaganza Kochi Muziris Binnale here, India's first such event.

Organisers said the event was a 'huge' success despite being dogged by controversies and severe financial crunch.

The biennale flag will be lowered at 6 PM at Aspinwall House, the main venue of the contemporary art exhibition, in the presence of Union Minister K V Thomas, Kochi Mayor Toni Chamanny and a host of dignitaries.

The biennale showcased cutting edge contemporary visual art, Biennale Foundation President Bose Krishnamachari and Secretary Rias Komu told reporters here.

Komu said many outreach programmes had to be cut short due to financial constraints. The total expenses so far were about Rs 15 crore, they said.

The project ran into controversy over alleged mismanagement of Rs five crore alloted by the state government.

On the vigilance inquiry ordered against the biennale promoters over alleged mismanagement of funds, they said the organisers were prepared to face any probe.

With 89 artists from 23 countries - half of them from India, the biennale, held in 14 venues in and around Fort Kochi and Ernakulam, attracted nearly 4,00,000 visitors from both India and abroad with as many as 500 foreign tourists a day.

The Biennale began on December 12 and was to have concluded on March 13, but was extended by four days due to public demand, Krishnamachari said.

The next edition of Kochi Muziris Biennale will be held in December 2014, he said, adding that preparations for it were already underway.

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