French Ambassador to India visits West Bengal

Former French colony Chandannagar in the spotlight

News - India & You


February 7, 2017

/ By / Kolkata

Chandannagar saw the Ambassador of France to India pay a visit to some of its heritage buildings. Photo from Twitter-Alexandre Ziegler @FranceinIndia

Chandannagar saw the Ambassador of France to India pay a visit to some of its heritage buildings
(Photo from Twitter @FranceinIndia)

The Ambassador of France to India, Alexandre Ziegler, on his second visit to West Bengal stopped by at Kolkata and Chandannagar.

Alexandre Ziegler, the French Ambassador to India, concluded his two-day trip to West Bengal today morning, with the capital of the state, Kolkata and former French township of Chandannagar a part of his itinerary. Visiting heritage French buildings in Chandannagar and conferring two awards in Kolkata were some of the highlights of his trip.

Ziegler described Chandannagar as “a confluence of Indian and French cultures for centuries,” and was in the town yesterday. A number of heritage French buildings that are under a conservation project, are present in Chandannagar, which Ziegler visited with urban conservation architect Aishwarya Tipnis. He also met Father Orson Wells of the Sacred Heart Church in Chandannagar. In the Institut de Chandernagor, formerly the French Governor’s place and currently a museum and cultural centre, an exhibition on the history of Chandannagar was inaugurated, with the Director, Dr Phalguni Mukherjee and Ziegler present. Chandernagore College was also a part of Ziegler’s itinerary, where he engaged in an interaction with students of the Department of French and Professor Basabi Pal, the Head of the department.

The Consulate General of France in Kolkata, yesterday evening, saw the Ambassador conferring the insignia of Knight of the National Order of Merit on French citizens Fabienne Fichet, founder of the NGO, Les Galopins de Calcutta, and Christophe Plais, the founder of social enterprise, Terra Indica. Les Galopins de Calcutta, a not for profit organisation, aims at improving the lives of children living on the streets of Kolkata by offering them a stable environment where they can learn, grow and flourish. Along with recognition of the founder of this organisation, Terra Indica’s founder was conferred with the insignia, an organisation who states on their website, “We are a France-Indian design house and workshop specializing in exquisite furniture and interiors. We are also a social and ethically minded business.”

Bonjour India

Bonjour India, the festival of France that has been organised in India twice, sees a large number of cultural activities and festivities across various cities in the country. In preparation for its third edition, which is to be inaugurated in November 2017, Ziegler met a number of local partners. “It was a great pleasure to visit Bengal, particularly Chandannagar, which is a confluence of Indo-French heritage and culture. We want to build on this historical link and work for the future. We will use Bonjour India, the Indo-French platform for innovation and creativity – which will kick off this November – to promote Indo-French partnerships to this end,” stated Ziegler. For the same occasion, France has also been chosen as the ‘theme country’ of the International Kolkata Book Fair 2018, which many are looking forward to.



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