News & events > UK - India Year of Culture Festival announced for 2017
13 Dec 2015

UK - India Year of Culture Festival announced for 2017


A UK - India Year of Culture Festival, a year long-programme to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Indian independence and UK cultural ties has been announced. The Year of Culture 2017 will see an exciting festival of events celebrating the vibrant cultural history of the 2 countries.

Top UK institutions will partner with their Indian counterparts to strengthen cultural and economic ties between the 2 nations, and showcase British creativity on the global stage.

The festival celebrating the cultural ties between India and the UK will launch in 2017 marking the 70th anniversary of Indian Independence. This major cross-cultural festival will include events in both countries, with contributions from The British Museum and British Library.

The move, which is backed by Prime Minister David Cameron, follows a highly publicised state visit to the UK in November by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Nehru Centre in London and the British Council are among the organisers of the new initiative.

A major exhibition at the CSMVS museum in Mumbai (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya) including a number of key loans from the British Museum will be a centrepiece event of the 2017 festival. “[The exhibition] will tell the story of Indian history and civilisation in the wider context of simultaneous events in world history,” says a press statement from the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Two cornerstone British texts drawn from the British Library will tour India as part of the programme: Shakespeare’s First Folio, the first collected edition of the Bard’s plays, and the 1225 edition of the Magna Carta. More than seven million pages from Asian-language books will also be digitised as part of the project. Meanwhile, an India-themed exhibition will open at the Manchester Museum ahead of its new India gallery launch, the date of which is unconfirmed.

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Image: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), formerly known as the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India, is one of the premier art and history museums in India. The Museum building, a Grade I Heritage building, is a fine example of the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture and houses a world-class collection of over 60,000 art objects.