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Seychelles in the run for Venice Biennale 2015... the Olympics of the Arts

Seychelles in the run for Venice Biennale 2015... the Olympics of the Arts ( Seychelles is racing a marathon to meet the running cost of €50,000 which will enable the country to take part in the first time ever Venice Biennale, the world’s leading contemporary art event. Until now, Seychelles has beaten its biggest challenge, securing the premises for contemporary artists to exhibit their artworks. Although the Seychelles Art Projects Foundation which has been given the task to ensure the country’s partaking at Venice Biennale becomes a reality, claims it secured some funds for the project is still at a significant shortfall. Getting Seychellois artists in Venice Biennale comes at a price. Their artworks also have to be curated, shipped, insured, and installed.

The Seychelles Art Projects Foundation recently made a call for individuals and companies in Seychelles to come together and support this important venture. Local companies are being asked to pledge part of their Corporate Social Responsibility Tax (CRS) to the foundation. The call has been heard, and three local communities - Boat House Creole Restaurant at Beau Vallon, PMC Auto group, and Le Chantier dental clinic - each banked an amount of 10 thousand rupees and above to the foundation. The cream of the crop came from a French-based company, “Chateau Castigno,” with a sum of €20,000. Marc&Tine Verstraete-Claeys, owner of Chateau Castigno, said the “company was seduced by the project.” Marc&Tine Verstraete-Claeys are in fact a good friend of Nitin Shroff, Commissioner of Seychelles at the exhibition. Nitin who last year presented a project to Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, and Benjamine Rose, the Principal Secretary for Culture, has remained faithful to the project.

The foundation has made an open call for Seychelles artists interested in participating in Venice Biennale 2015 to present a project. Seven artists responded to the call. An independent curator from France will be in the country during the first week of February to select the best projects for the Venice Biennale 2015. George Camille, member of the foundation, said that for all contemporary artists “Venice Biennale" is a must to attend, because it is the climax of every one in a creative career.”

In a small ceremony, the foundation presented the organization and the sponsors to the press. Also present were Minister St.Ange and Miss Benjamine Rose. Minister St.Ange said Venice Biennale is for Seychelles synonymous to the Olympics of Arts. “If we are able to get Seychelles to the Venice Biennale, we would have achieved the milestone in turning our people into ambassadors of Seychelles.”

He said the Seychelles participation at Venice is rightly fitted for the country. “It comes at a good time, when the country adopted the national theme, ‘I love Seychelles.’ When artists showcase their creative talents. It’s depicting the creative side of our country that they all love so much,” the Minister said.

Minister St.Ange is appealing to the business community to work together as a country and support the Venice Biennale 2015 initiative.


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