Thursday, August 31, 2006

Durga: Creating an Image of the Goddess

News from the British Museum...

12 August – 27 September 2006
Great Court, Admission free
Open daily 10.00 – 17.30, late Thursdays & Fridays until 20.30

The Great Court will be the venue for the creation by West Bengali craftsmen of a spectacular image of the goddess Durga killing the buffalo-headed demon Mahisha. The image will be created using straw, clay and paint, and visitors will be able to view the whole process, from the construction of the initial wooden structure, to the painting of the giant figures on the tableau. This is a chance to witness the incredible skills of the West Bengali craftsmen creating the Durga; a sight rarely seen outside of Bengal.

The construction project is organised by the British Museum, the London Durga Puja Dusserah Committee and the Crafts Council of West Bengal. The construction will take place between 12 August and 27 September in preparation for the worship of the goddess during the Puja festival (Durga Puja), which will happen off-site at the Camden Centre. The image will then be immersed and destroyed in the Thames at the beginning of October.

The British Museum would like to acknowledge the benefit of experience gained from the Scottish Indian Arts Forum and National Museums of Scotland's Making a Durga project in Edinburgh 2002.

The British Museum would also like to acknowledge the support of the ICCR with the Durga project.

[From a British Museum press release.]

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