The 121st birth anniversary of National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam was observed in the country on Monday.
But unlike previous years, there was no public function this year because of the coronavirus outbreak. The day also coincided with Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest festival of the Muslims.
Born on May 25, 1899 at Churulia village in Burdwan district of West Bengal in India, Nazrul had inspired people to fight against injustice and repression of the colonial rule through his writings.
Bangladesh Television and Bangladesh Betar aired various programmes on the occasion.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages highlighting the colourful life of the poet and his contributions to Bangla language and literature.
In his message, the President said, “Nazrul’s write-ups inspired us to join all democratic movements and battles, including the anti-British movement, the Language Movement, the mass uprising in 1969, and the Liberation War.”
He expressed his belief that the immortal presence of Nazrul will keep the Bengali nation alive forever.
In her message, the Prime Minister said, “We must continue to work together to build a secular, non-discriminatory, peaceful, happy and prosperous Bangladesh following the lifestyle of the Rebel Poet.”
The 159th birth anniversary of the Rabindranath Tagore will be celebrated on Friday.
Tagore was a poet, visual artist, playwright, novelist, as well as a composer whose works reshaped Bangla literature and music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Born on May 7, 1861 at Jorasanko mansion in Kolkata, he was the youngest of 13 surviving children of Debendranath Tagore and Sarada Devi.
He became Asia's first Nobel laureate after winning the Nobel Prize in literature for Gitanjali in 1913.
Two of his songs are now the national anthems of Bangladesh and India.
Tagore wrote novels, short stories, songs, dance-dramas, and essays on political and personal topics. Gitanjali, Gora, and Ghare-Baire, Chokher Bali are among his best-known works.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the occasion.
Bangladesh Television and other private television channels and Bangladesh Betar will air special programmes highlighting the life and works of Rabindranath.
The government has reappointed Liaquat Ali Lucky as the director general (DG) of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) for another three years.
The Public Administration Ministry issued a notification in this regard on Monday.
His appointment came into effect on Monday, the notification said.
Lucky’s previous contractual appointment ended on Friday.
Later, Md Abdul Mannan Ilias, additional secretary to the Cultural Affairs Ministry, was assigned to work as BSA DG as his additional duty.
Lucky had been working as the BSA director general since 2011. He was awarded the Ekushey Padak by the government in 2019.
He was born on January 13, 1957 at Tikorpur village in Nawabganj upazila in Dhaka.
Chhayanaut announced that it will not organise the annual Pahela Baishakh cultural festivity to welcome the Bengali new year at Ramna Park due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“Since 1967, Chhayanaut has been regularly arranging the traditional cultural festivity under the banyan tree at city’s Ramna Park to welcome the Bengali new year. The only exception was in 1971 and we have decided to postpone this year’s festivity amid the global coronavirus outbreak,” Chhayanaut General Secretary Laisa Ahmed Lisa said in a press release.
Its organisers and performers have postponed their activities and started helping out the helpless and poor since the Independence Day.
Chhayanaut requested everyone to maintain good hygiene and follow proper health guidelines to take care of each other and stop the spread of coronavirus.
Earlier, the Cabinet Division instructed the authorities concerned to postpone all programmes of Pohela Baishakh to avoid mass gatherings.
Chhayanaut, founded in 1961, has earned global appraisal for organising the traditional, extravagant cultural festivity of Pahela Baishakh at Ramna Park every year. One of the most awaited festivities in Bangladesh, the traditional cultural presentation of Chhayanaut marking the Pahela Baishakh has earned its fame as one of the grandest regular cultural celebrations in the world.
A Dutch museum that is currently closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus said Monday a painting by Vincent van Gogh on loan for an exhibition was stolen in a raid overnight.
The Singer Laren museum east of Amsterdam says "Spring Garden" by the Dutch master was taken in the early hours of Monday.
Museum director Evert van Os said the institution that houses the collection of American couple William and Anna Singer is "angry, shocked, sad" at the theft of the painting.
The value of the work, which was on loan from the Groninger Museum in the northern Dutch city of Groningen, was not immediately known. Police are investigating the theft.
Before the closure, the museum was hosting an exhibition titled "Mirror of the Soul" with works by artists ranging from Toorop to Mondrian, in cooperation with Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum.
The museum's collection has a focus on modernism such as neo-impressionism, pointillism, expressionism and cubism.